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Pakistan: Anti-U.S. Protests Erupt After Friday Prayers

Karachi, Pakistan; 12 October 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Demonstrations against U.S.-led strikes in Afghanistan were held after weekly prayers today across the Muslim world, with police and protestors clashing in major cities from Karachi to Kuala Lumpur. Police fought street battles with tens of thousands of Islamic militants in Pakistan's southern city of Karachi today during a violent anti-American protest. Six people were wounded as security forces fought the crowds with batons, tear gas, and gunfire in the air.

Police say protesters fired back on security officers, torched an American fast-food outlet [a KFC], attacked a government building and set ablaze several other vehicles.

In Iran, tens of thousands of people gathered in Tehran.

More than 5,000 Egyptians held an anti-American protest outside a Cairo mosque, and some 3,000 fundamentalists took to the streets of Tripoli, northern Lebanon. Police used tear gas to disperse thousands of protestors in Istanbul, Turkey.

In Asia, police used water cannons on 1,000 protesters gathered near the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta and on the 3,000 protestors who demonstrated in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur. Thousands of Muslims also protested in major cities across India.

Hundreds protested in Nairobi and Mobasa, Kenya. And thousands of Palestinians marched peacefully through West Bank cities to protest the Afghan strikes.

In other news, the United States and Uzbekistan say they have reached a counterterrorism agreement that will allow American troops and warplanes to use Uzbek airspace and military bases. In a joint statement released simultaneously in Washington and Tashkent, the two countries said they had committed themselves to eliminate international terrorism and its infrastructure.

For these purposes, the statement said, Uzbekistan has agreed to provide the use of its airspace and necessary military and civilian infrastructure of one of its airports, which would be used in the first instance for humanitarian purposes.

Uzbekistan last week agreed to fully cooperate in the U.S.-led war on terrorism during a visit there by U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Also, the U.S. government stepped up its efforts to stymie the financial network of international terrorists today, announcing it had frozen the assets of a further 39 individuals and organizations.

Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill told a news conference in Washington, D.C., that the 39 included business and charities believed to supply funding to the Al-Qaeda terrorist network headed by Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden is the chief suspect behind the 11 September terrorist attacks on the U.S.

In London, the British government issued a list of a further 38 organizations and individuals who may have links with international terrorist groups and whose British-held assets it intends to freeze. Reuters say the list included six organization and 32, including eight already named on a United Nations list in March this year.