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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 February 2006, 17:12 GMT
Danes seek to quell cartoon fury
Muslim protesters shout slogans during a demonstration in Kabul, Afghanistan
Cartoon fury: Violence has flared in Afghanistan
The Danish prime minister has urged Muslims to refrain from violence, saying the Prophet Muhammad cartoon row is being exploited by extremists.

"We need to resolve this issue through dialogue, not violence," Anders Fogh Rasmussen told a news conference.

He condemned the attacks on Danish embassies by Muslim protesters angered by the satirical cartoons which first appeared in a Danish newspaper.

"The Danish people are not enemies of Islam," he insisted.

Danish PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen
I want to appeal and reach out to all people and countries in the Muslim world - let us work together in the spirit of mutual respect and tolerance
Anders Fogh Rasmussen

At least three people were killed when protesters in northern Afghanistan attacked a base housing Scandinavian peacekeeping forces on Tuesday.

Britain is sending reinforcements to the scene.

Crowds also threw stones and clashed with police elsewhere in Afghanistan, including the capital Kabul, where several European embassies were attacked.

For a second day, protesters stoned the Danish embassy in the Iranian capital, Tehran.

"We're seeing ourselves characterised as an intolerant people or as enemies of Islam as a religion. That picture is false. Extremists and radicals who seek a clash of cultures and religions are spreading it," Mr Rasmussen said.

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

Earlier, Denmark said it held Iran responsible after its Tehran embassy was attacked.

Iran has said it is cutting all trade ties with Denmark.

Many Muslims across the world are angry at the publication of the cartoons.

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

The cartoons published in Denmark's Jyllands-Posten last September and since reprinted in Norway and other European countries - included an image portraying Muhammad with a bomb in his turban.

With tension rising:

  • Hundreds of Muslims gather on Tuesday in Cotabato, the southern Philippines, demanding Denmark punish Jyllands-Posten

  • Norway demands compensation from Syria after its embassy in Damascus was set on fire on Saturday

  • The Turkish and Spanish prime ministers make a joint plea for respect and calm in an article in the International Herald Tribune

  • In Indonesia, protesters target the Danish and US consulates in Surabaya, the country's second-largest city. Protests are also held in the capital, Jakarta

  • Shops and businesses across Indian-administered Kashmir close after a general strike is called in protest at the drawings.

    Denmark's embassies in Damascus, Syria, and Beirut, Lebanon were set on fire by protesters at the weekend.

    Tehran has already recalled its ambassador to Denmark and has also summoned the ambassadors of Denmark, Norway and Austria to express its anger.

    Last week the row escalated after a number of European newspapers republished the pictures, saying they were defending freedom of expression.

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