Pakistan: 5,000 children demand execution of 'blasphemers'

About 5,000 children chanting “Hang those who insulted the Prophet” rallied in Pakistan’s largest city today in the latest fiery protest in the Islamic nation against the publication of Prophet Mohammed cartoons.

The children, aged 8 to 12, torched a coffin draped in US, Israeli and Danish flags at a traffic intersection in the port city of Karachi as police in riot gear looked on.

The rally was organised by Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan’s largest Islamic group.

Children, some wearing school uniforms and headbands emblazoned with “God is great,” were released from schools and Islamic seminaries to take part.

Meanwhile, opposition politician Liaqat Baluch, deputy secretary-general of the coalition, today welcomed the European Union’s first statement on the controversy. EU foreign ministers yesterday said they regretted the cartoons were “considered offensive” by Muslims around the world after first appearing in a Danish newspaper in September.

But Baluch demanded that Denmark should also apologise.

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