Pakistani protest against police raid in quake-hit city

About 200 supporters of Pakistan's largest Islamic group rallied Tuesday in the quake-hit capital of the country's portion of Kashmir to protest the detention by police of one of the group's members at a relief camp for earthquake survivors.

The members of Jamaat-e-Islami briefly blocked traffic on Muzaffarabad's main street while chanting slogans and carrying signs, reading "We need peace, not commandos." About two dozen police with rifles and sticks looked on. Nobody was hurt.

Police on Monday picked up Jamaat-e-Islamic activist Shamsher Khan during a raid on the relief camp he runs for quake survivors but released him about five hours later, said Atta Ullah, deputy chief of police in Muzaffarabad.

Police were checking on a tip that there were weapons and munitions at the camp, but nothing was seized and Khan was released without charge, Ullah said. He declined to elaborate on why the group was suspected of having weapons at the camp.

"They are well organized and sometimes well armed. We won't allow any sort of weapons inside the camps," he said.

Ullah acknowledged that immediately after the earthquake people needed to keep weapons to ward off looting, but said that police now have the situation under control.

An organizer of the anti-police rally accused the government of trying to disrupt Jamaat-e-Islami's relief work.

"The government is jealous of us that we are doing much more," said Syed Nauman Ali Shah. "Now they are trying to interrupt our relief work," reports the AP. I.L.

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