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Pakistan Army blocks anti-drone protest in tribal region

The Pakistani military blocked a convoy of Pakistanis and a small contingent of US anti-war activists from entering South Waziristan on Sunday to protest American drone strikes.

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Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) head Imran Khan, wearing a traditional turban, speaks to supporters during a peace march against US drone strikes from Islamabad to South Waziristan, in Pakistan's northwestern town of Tank October 7. Pakistani authorities stopped a protest over US drone strikes led by former cricketer turned politician Khan from entering the troubled region of South Waziristan on Sunday, prompting allegations the government was ambivalent about US actions.

Reuters

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The Pakistani military blocked a convoy carrying thousands of Pakistanis and a small contingent of US anti-war activists from entering a lawless tribal region along the border with Afghanistan on Sunday to protest American drone strikes.

The group, led by cricket star turned politician Imran Khan and his political party, was turned back just miles from the border of South Waziristan. After an hour of fruitless negotiations, Khan announced that the caravan would backtrack to the city of Tank, about 9 miles away. There, he delivered a speech to the crowd of about 10,000.

Khan has harshly criticized the Pakistani government's cooperation with Washington in the fight against Islamist militants. He has been especially outspoken against US drone strikes targeting militants and has argued that Islamabad's alliance with Washington is the main reason Pakistan is facing a homegrown Taliban insurgency. He has suggested before that militant activity in Pakistan's tribal areas will dissipate when the US ends the war across the border in Afghanistan.

"We want to give a message to America that the more you carry out drone attacks, the more people will hate you," Khan told the crowd.

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