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Last Updated: Friday, 3 November 2006, 12:53 GMT
Thousands protest at school raid
A rally in Karachi protesting missile attack in Bajaur
Demonstrations were also held in Karachi and other Pakistani cities
Thousands of Pakistani tribesmen near the border with Afghanistan have held a rally to protest against Monday's missile attack that killed 80 people.

The tribesmen say the dead, housed in a seminary, were merely students and their families should be compensated.

The Pakistani government says that they were militants preparing for attacks inside Afghanistan.

Tribal leaders say the air-strike was conducted by the US, a claim that both Pakistan and the US deny.

Elsewhere, militants in North Waziristan, another tribal region south of Bajaur, have beheaded a man after accusing him of being a US spy.

The military in this tribal district withdrew to the barracks following a peace deal with the local militants in September, leaving them in control of law and order.

A similar peace agreement with the militants in Bajaur was reportedly scuttled by Monday's air-strike.

Since the raid thousands of local people have taken part in protests against Islamabad's alliance with the US.

Sympathy for Taleban

About 5,000 tribesmen held a protest march in Khar, the capital town of Bajaur tribal district, some 10km south-east of the scene of the attack.


They paraded the effigies of US president George Bush and Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf on mules before setting them on fire.

In various speeches, the local leaders vowed revenge for the killing of 'innocent victims' and held both Pakistan and US responsible for it.

Protest rallies were also held in other parts of the tribal areas and the Pakistani cities of Islamabad, Peshawar, Karachi and elsewhere.

Sympathy for the Taleban and al-Qaeda among tribesmen in Bajaur is believed to translate into active support, the BBC's Barbara Plett in Islamabad says.

Pakistan has deployed nearly 80,000 troops along the border.

They are there to hunt militants who sought refuge after the ousting of the Taleban in Afghanistan in 2001.

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