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Pakistan Detains Islamic Activists Ahead of Cartoons Protest


Police in Pakistan say they have detained at least 19 Islamic activists in the eastern city of Lahore after they vowed to defy a ban on rallies protesting controversial cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

Police say the activists were detained during raids that began early Saturday.

Pakistan banned public rallies in the central province of Punjab following a violent protest in the past week in the provincial capital, Lahore. Two people were killed. Radical Islamic leaders said they would defy the ban and stage a protest rally Sunday.

Separately, more than 1,000 Muslims in Hong Kong staged a sit-in protest Sunday, condemning the publication of cartoons.

The 12 cartoons first appeared in a Danish newspaper in September and have been reprinted in other European newspapers. One cartoon depicts the Prophet Muhammad as a terrorist.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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