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Last Updated: Friday, 17 February 2006, 20:52 GMT
Denmark closes Pakistan embassy
A Pakistani policeman outside the Danish embassy
This is the fifth Danish embassy to close since the row began
Denmark has temporarily shut its embassy in Islamabad after violent protests in Pakistan over cartoons satirising the Prophet Muhammad.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman said Denmark was "not satisfied with the security situation".

At the same time, Pakistan said it had recalled its ambassador to Denmark for what it called "consultations over the cartoon controversy".

On Friday police used tear gas to disperse angry protesters in Karachi.

The images, first printed in Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, have sparked anger across the Islamic world.

In other developments:

  • A minister in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Haji Yaqub, announces an $11m (6.3m) reward for anyone who beheads the cartoonist who drew the images.

  • Peshawar cleric Maulana Yousaf Qureshi offers 7.5m rupees ($125,000) and a car to anyone who kills the cartoonist.

  • Former US President Bill Clinton calls the publication of the cartoons "a mistake".

  • In Hong Kong, more than 2,000 Muslims stage a peaceful anti-cartoon march.

    'Strong antipathy'

    Denmark said its embassy staff would remain in Pakistan and denied that diplomatic ties were affected.

    CARTOON ROW
    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
    31 Jan: Danish paper apologises
    1 Feb: Papers in France, Germany, Italy and Spain reprint cartoons
    4-5 Feb: Danish embassies in Damascus and Beirut attacked
    6-12 Feb: Twelve killed in Afghanistan as security forces try to suppress protests
    13-17 Feb: Violent protests break out across Pakistan

    But it issued a new travel warning for Pakistan and urged Danes in the country to leave as soon as possible.

    "The demonstrations that are currently being held in Pakistan have created an atmosphere of very strong antipathy against Denmark and Danes," the ministry said in a statement.

    Pakistan, meanwhile, brought its ambassador back from Copenhagen for consultations over the cartoon issue.

    The BBC's Julian Isherwood says this is in effect putting diplomatic relations between the two countries on hold.

    This is the fifth embassy that Denmark has closed since the cartoon row sparked. Missions in Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Indonesia are all temporarily shut.

    Detained

    Protests continued across Pakistan on Friday and a radical Islamic leader was detained to prevent him leading protests.

    Hafiz Mohammed Saeed was held in Lahore as he prepared for a rally after Friday's prayers, his spokesman said.

    Protests in the city of Peshawar
    Thousands have taken part in street protests across Pakistan

    Mr Saeed is the founder of the Lashkar-e-Toiba, a banned militant group fighting in Indian-administered Kashmir. He now heads the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a radical group that is under government surveillance.

    In Karachi, Pakistan's biggest city, police fired tear gas and used batons to disperse some 2,000 protesters who blocked a major street. Some 60 people were arrested.

    Dozens of protesters were detained by police in Lahore, Multan and Faisalabad.

    Tens of thousands of police are out on patrol in major cities and most schools and colleges have been closed to prevent students from joining the protests.

    The BBC's Barbara Plett says this is one of the worst weeks of street violence Pakistan has seen in years, with rallies turning into major acts of civil disorder.


  • BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
    See protesters on the streets of Islamabad



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