[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Saturday, 13 May 2006, 14:12 GMT 15:12 UK
Huge crowds at Pakistani funeral
Huge crowds gathered to say farewell to Amir Cheema

At least 30,000 people have gathered in Pakistan for the funeral of a man accused of planning to attack the offices of a German newspaper.

Amir Cheema, 28, was found hanged in his cell while in custody in Berlin at the start of May.

He was arrested for planning to attack Die Welt, which had reprinted cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

Crowds at the funeral chanted Islamic slogans and demanded the resignation of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.

Many of those in the crowd in the town of Saroki were Islamic party activists and religious students, according to reports.

Cheema's father Nazir addressed the crowds gathered for the funeral, urging them to respect his son and to maintain calm and order.

Many in Pakistan, including Cheema's sister, have expressed doubts that he hanged himself.

But Germany's ambassador to Pakistan has said a post-mortem examination had revealed no signs of torture or physical struggle.

The caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, first published in a Danish newspaper, caused uproar in the Islamic world as Islam traditionally forbids images of the Prophet.

There were widespread protests in Pakistan which left five people dead.

A number of Western media, including Die Welt, chose to republish the cartoons to uphold the principle of freedom of expression.

Scenes in Pakistan as the coffin is transported

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific