Bangladeshis express anger at U.S. congressman threatened to bomb Mecca

Hundreds of Bangladeshis rallied to protest a comment made by a U.S. congressman Tom Tancredo that the U.S. would bomb Islamic holy sites in the case of a nuclear attack on America by Muslims.

On July 15, Tancredo made the statement about bombing Muslim holy sites, including the Saudi city of Mecca, during a Florida talk-radio show.

"We protest this outrageous statement, he must apologize," Mohiuddin Ahmed, chief coordinator of the Islamic radical group Hizbut Tahrir, told the rally.

They chanted anti-American slogan and labeled U.S. President George W. Bush an "enemy of Islam."

Bush "is a terrorist. (He) is killing hundreds of Muslims, he must be brought to book first," another leader of the group Ahmed Jamal Iqbal told the rally.

The protesters also marched in downtown Dhaka behind police barricades after the rally that ended peacefully, Dhaka Metropolitan police official Mosharraf Hossain told The Associated Press.

Another radical Islamic group, the Islamic Shashontontro Andolon or Islamic Constitution Movement, with about 500 supporters demonstrated separately in downtown Dhaka later on the day protesting against the congressman's statement, Hossain said.

"We will sacrifice our lives to protect our holy sites. Muslims only surrender to Allah...Allah will save us," M. Hemayetuddin, a senior leader of the group, told his supporters, the AP reports.

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