Monday, February 20, 2006
AP: Pakistan arrests hundreds of cartoon protestors - Feb. 20
By MATTHEW PENNINGTON, Associated Press Writer -- Monday, 1:05 AM CT
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Pakistani security forces arrested hundreds of Islamic hard-liners, virtually sealed off the capital and used gunfire and tear gas Sunday to quell protests against caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.
Protesters, left, burn St. Saviour's church in Sukkar, 560 kilometers (348 miles) northeast of Karachi, Pakistan, Sunday, Feb 19, 2006. About 400 people attacked the church in Sukkur, a city in southern Sindh province, after accusations that a local Christian man had burned pages from the Quran, said Akbar Arian, chief of police in the area. The incident came amid angry protests across Pakistan over cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad published in Western newspapers. (AP Photo/Pervez Khan)
Authorities in eastern Pakistan had banned protests after riots killed five people in two cities last week.
Elsewhere in the Muslim world on Sunday, demonstrators with wooden staves and stones tried unsuccessfully to storm the U.S. Embassy in Indonesia, while tens of thousands rallied in the Turkish city of Istanbul and complained about negative Western perceptions of Islam.
Troops patrolled the deserted streets of the northern Nigerian town of Maiduguri, where thousands of Muslims attacked Christians and burned churches Saturday, killing at least 15 people during a protest over the cartoons. Most of the victims were beaten to death by rioters.
In Saudi Arabia, newspapers ran full-page apologies by Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper that first ran the caricatures in September. The newspaper's Web site said businesses placed the ad on their own initiative, using an apology issued by the newspaper late last month. It did not identify the companies or say if they were Danish.
Boycotts of Danish products throughout the Muslim world have taken a heavy toll on Denmark's exporters, especially those selling Denmark's famed dairy products.
The cartoons, which have been reprinted by other Western publications, have outraged Muslims. But protests over the past three weeks have grown into a broader anger against the West in general, andand the United States in particular.
Demonstrations have turned increasingly violent and claimed at least 45 lives worldwide, including 11 induring a three-day span two weeks ago and 10 on Friday in the Libyan coastal city of Benghazi. The Libyan riot outside the Italian consulate apparently was sparked by a right-wing Italian Cabinet minister who wore a T-shirt with a caricature of Muhammad.
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