Supporters of Osama bin Laden marked the first anniversary of his death with a large rally in southwest Pakistan today, Al Jazeera reported.
The event came a day after US President Barack Obama showed up in neighboring Afghanistan for a suprise visit timed to the anniversary of the US raid that killed the former al-Qaeda chief in Pakistan.
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Al Jazeera cited local media as saying the protesters, led by the pro-Taliban Jamiat-Ulema-e-Islam party, shouted slogans like "Long Live Osama" in response to rally leaders calling the former terror chief the "hero of the whole Muslim world."
A spokesman for the Jamiat-e-Ulema told the Associated Press that over 1,000 demonstrators torched US flags at the rally, adding that the group also gave out free food to hundreds of poor people -- a traditional Muslim mourning custom.
Some 13 percent of Pakistanis are favorably inclined toward bin Laden, according to a recent Pew Global Attitudes Project poll that found majorities of Muslims hold an unfavorable opinion of the former terror chief.
Security is high in Pakistan over fears over a revenge attack related to bin Laden's killing, said Agence-France Press.