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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 February 2006, 14:06 GMT
Nigerian MPs burn Denmark's flag
A Nigerian Muslim
Muslims regard the controversial cartoons as blasphemous
Nigerian MPs cheered in the northern majority Muslim state of Kano as Danish and Norwegian flags were burned in a ceremony in the parliament premises.

The flags were torched to show disapproval of the publication in Denmark and Norway of cartoons satirising the Prophet Muhammad.

Earlier Kano state MPs passed a resolution to call off multi-million dollar trade negotiations with Denmark.

In Niger, thousands took part in banned protests against the cartoons.

The cartoons, originally published in a Danish newspaper, have been denounced in other African countries and throughout the Islamic world.

In Somalia, a teenage boy died after protesters attacked police on Monday.

Islamic tradition explicitly prohibits images of Allah and the Prophet Muhammad.

Christian backing

The BBC's Ado Saleh in Kano says some 200 people, including the 40 state parliamentarians, attended the flag burning.

30 Sept 2005: Danish paper publishes cartoons
20 Oct: Muslim ambassadors complain to Danish PM
10 Jan 2006: Norwegian publication reprints cartoons
26 Jan: Saudi Arabia recalls its ambassador
30 Jan: Gunmen raid EU's Gaza office demanding apology
31 Jan: Danish paper apologises
1 Feb: Papers in France, Germany, Italy and Spain reprint cartoons
4 Feb: Syrians attack Danish and Norwegian embassies in Damascus
5 Feb: Protesters sack Danish embassy in Beirut

They shouted "Allah Akbar" (God is great) as Kano's parliament speaker Balarabe Saidu Gani set the flags alight, he says.

On Monday, the MPs passed a resolution ordering the Kano state government to call off negotiations with Denmark over a hydroelectric plant worth some $25m and to cancel the purchase of 72 buses from the country.

The Christian Association of Nigeira has condemned the publication of the cartoons.

Tensions between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria have led to clashes leaving thousands dead in recent years.

Anti-riot police

Meanwhile, the centre of Niger's capital, Niamey, came to a standstill as tens of thousands of Muslim protesters called on Niger's government to condemn the cartoon.

Permission for the march was withdrawn at the last minute for fear the situation would get out of hand, but the protesters ignored this.

For three hours, religious leaders addressed angry crowds condemning what they called the gratuitous provocation of Muslims by the West.

Anti-riot police protected Denmark's embassy in the capital, but the demonstration came to an end peacefully.

Protests against the cartoons in Muslim countries have targeted embassies and consulates of Denmark and Norway, the first countries where the cartoons were published.

They have been reprinted in newspapers in Germany, Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands, Spain and South Africa.

Jyllands-Posten, the Danish paper that originally printed the caricatures, has apologised for causing offence to Muslims, although it maintains it was legal under Danish law to print the cartoons.

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