Pakistan tells anti-government cleric protesters are at risk

ISLAMABAD Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:33pm EST

1 of 2. Women supporters of Sufi cleric and leader of the Minhaj-ul-Quran religious organisation Muhammad Tahirul Qadri link their hands during his speech on their third day of protests in Islamabad January 16, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Akhtar Soomro

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ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan's Interior Minister warned an anti-government Muslim cleric backed by thousands of protesters camped out in the heart of the capital near parliament to disperse, saying they were at risk of attack from militants.

Rehman Malik said authorities had learned that militants might be planning to target the crowd, and that the cleric, Muhammad Tahirul Qadri, would be held responsible for any attacks.

(Reporting by Michael Georgy; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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