INTERNATIONAL

Qadri’s funeral attracts thousands of supporters

Tens of thousands of supporters chanted slogans and threw rose petals on Tuesday at an ambulance bearing the body of Mumtaz Qadri, a Pakistani Islamist executed for killing Punjab’s former Governor Salman Taseer, as schools closed and police guarded flashpoints. Crowds flooded into a park in the garrison city of Rawalpindi for funeral prayers for Qadri, chanting slogans such as “Qadri, your blood will bring revolution”. An AFP estimate put the number of people at up to 100,000.

Main junctions and sensitive buildings in Rawalpindi and Islamabad were guarded by thousands of police and paramilitary Rangers.

Security forces kept a careful distance from the crowd at Liaqat Bagh park, and some of the supporters dispersed after the prayers. But hundreds continued to march behind the flower-strewn ambulance as it inched its way through a sea of supporters towards the burial site. — AFP