RealNews

Malawi Muslim Group Threatens Elections

At least 200 Muslims protested in the streets of Malawi’s capital Saturday, threatening to disrupt next year’s elections if five suspected al-Qaida militants taken from the country by the United States are not returned. The suspects, accused of funneling money to Osama bin Laden’s terror network, were arrested June 22 in a joint operation involving the CIA and Malawi’s National Intelligence Bureau. They were secretly handed over to U.S. custody the following day and flown out of the country, according to Malawian officials. Angry Muslims marched on Saturday through Lilongwe, the capital of this southern African nation, chanting anti-government and anti-U.S. slogans. Organizers estimated the demonstration to be about 2,000 people, but the police said a crowd of 200 people had gathered. Demonstrators waved posters, among them one read, “No Muslim should vote in next year’s General Elections.” General elections in which a new president and parliament are to be chosen are scheduled for May 24, 2004. Full Story

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