By KATHY GANNON, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Pakistani police blocked a rally on Friday in Islamabad by clerics seeking to press their calls for the death of social media activists accused of insulting Islam — an offense punishable by death in this Islamic country.
Hundreds of security forces sealed off and surrounded the Red Mosque, long seen as a refuge for Islamic militants in the Pakistani capital, and the home of a religious leader, Maulana Abdul Aziz, preventing his followers from staging the gathering.
The clerics vowed to try again next week, having already launched blasphemy charges in the Islamabad High Court against five bloggers, who were held for nearly three weeks in January.
The bloggers — who went missing but were later returned unhurt to their families — have accused Pakistan’s intelligence agency of orchestrating their disappearance because of their criticism of the military and intelligence agencies.
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