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Pakistan Arrests Hundreds of Islamists on Eve of Protest


Pakistani police have arrested hundreds of supporters of an Islamic opposition alliance ahead of a planned nationwide strike called to press President Pervez Musharraf to give up power.

The six-party Islamic coalition, called Mutahida Majlis-e-Amal, MMA, or United Action Forum, issued the call for Saturday's strike to reject General Musharraf's policies and to pressure him to resign.

Police in the commercial city of Karachi said Friday they had arrested at least 150 MMA supporters in a string of raids beginning on Thursday. They said the arrests were made to prevent the group from disrupting law and order.

The group has accused General Musharraf of serving the interests of the United States instead of working for the betterment of the masses.

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