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Pakistan's PM vows to campaign for release of woman convicted of attempting to kill US agents

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) - Pakistan's prime minister has called a female scientist convicted of trying to kill U.S. interrogators in Afghanistan "the daughter of the nation" and vowed to campaign for her release.

His comments today appeared to be an attempt to manage public anger over the 86-year sentence handed down to Aafia Siddiqui by a New York court yesterday. The case of the American-trained Pakistani scientist and mother has struck a chord among Islamist groups and ordinary Pakistanis, many of whom are convinced of her innocence.

The sentencing prompted demonstrations in at least two cities, with much of the anger directed at the already unpopular Pakistani government for failing to somehow intervene in her case.

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