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Page last updated at 16:57 GMT, Saturday, 13 June 2009 17:57 UK

Lahore buries anti-Taliban cleric

Funeral of Sarfraz Naeemi
Thousands attended the funeral in Lahore

The funeral has taken place in the Pakistani city of Lahore of a prominent Muslim cleric killed in a suicide attack on Friday.

The cleric, Sarfraz Naeemi, was one of Pakistan's leading Sunni scholars and was known for his outspoken views opposing suicide bombings.

He had denounced the activities of Taliban militants as un-Islamic.

Protests against the killing have taken place in a number of Pakistani cities, including Lahore.

Sarfraz Naeemi was killed when an explosion struck the Jaamia Naeemia madrassa around the time of Friday prayers.

He was one of the few scholars who had openly supported the ongoing military operation in Swat and had labelled the activities of the Taliban "un-Islamic".

Six people were killed in the attack on Sarfraz Naeemi and a simultaneous suicide bombing at a mosque in the north-west garrison town of Nowshera.

Presidential support

The Pakistani President, Asif Ali Zardari, used a late-night broadcast to the nation on Friday, to condemn the killing of the cleric.

He said the Taliban were brutal people who were working against the sovereignty of Pakistan.

Mr Zardari also announced pay rises for the armed forces, who are engaged in a major offensive against the Taliban.



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