Ugly protests in cartoons row

Thousands of Pakistanis have rallied in Peshawar in protest against newspaper caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, and one person has been killed in an attack on the Norwegian Nato troops in neighbouring Afghanistan.

    Muslims regard the drawings as blasphemous

    More than 2000 people, shouting "Hang the cartoonists", attended the rally in Peshawar on Tuesday called by the Islamist legislature of Pakistan's North West Frontier Province, which borders Afghanistan.

    Akram Durrani, the provincial chief minister, and his cabinet ministers led the demonstration, which follows days of  protests throughout the Islamic world.
      
    Durrani told the rally: "All Islamic countries should suspend their diplomatic ties with Denmark till it offers apologies to every single Muslim for hurting their sentiments." 
      
    The minister also called for the International Court of Justice to intervene as the publication of the cartoons threatened to spark a "clash of civilisations".
         
    Demonstrators in Peshawar waved placards reading: "Listen Jews, Muslims are united", and "Expel Western diplomats".

    The crowd also chanted "Jihad [holy war], Jihad" and "Death to Denmark".

    The cartoons were first printed in a Danish daily and have since appeared in newspapers in a number of other countries, mostly in Europe.

    Other incidents

    Separately in Pakistan's largest city Karachi, some traders went on strike in protest against the cartoons while in the capital Islamabad a journalists' union was to hold a rally later on Tuesday.

    Lawyers also went on strike in several central Pakistani districts to protest against the cartoons and hoisted black flags above their offices. 
      

    "The demonstration turned violent ... One protester was killed and five others were wounded in the violence"

    Sayed Ahmad Sayed, Deputy governor

    Rallies condemning the cartoons have been held almost daily in Pakistan but have thus far been peaceful.

    In neighbouring Afghanistan, one Afghan citizen was killed and five others wounded when protests condemning the cartoons turned violent on Tuesday.

    A deputy governor said protesters attacked the offices of Norwegian Nato troops in western Afghanistan.

    Sayed Ahmad Sayed said demonstrators threw hand grenades at the offices of a Norwegian-led Provincial Reconstruction Team in the city of Maymana, capital of Faryab province.
      
    "The demonstration turned violent ... One protester was killed and five others were wounded in the violence," he said.

    SOURCE: AFP


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