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Pakistanis Protest Dismissal Of Top Judge

Demonstrators in Pakistan today (epa) April 3, 2007 -- More than 1,000 protesters rallied outside the Supreme Court in Islamabad today to protest President Pervez Musharraf's move to dismiss Pakistan's top judge.

The protest involved lawyers, Islamists, and activists of some liberal parties. The rally was held as suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudry appeared in court for the latest hearing of the accusations against him.

The move to oust Chaudry has outraged many members of Pakistan's legal community, who view it as an attack on the independence of the judiciary and have intensified opposition calls for Musharraf to resign. Chaudry denies any wrongdoing.

Police clashed with demonstrators during previous protests against Chaudry's dismissal, but there were no reports of violence during today's protest in the Pakistani capital.

Similar but smaller protests were also held in several other Pakistani cities, including Lahore, Karachi, and Quetta.

(compiled from agency reports)