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Bomb shatters Danish embassy in Islamabad

Latest update : 2008-06-02

A bomb exploded outside the Danish embassy in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, killing at least eight people. Denmark's reputation in the Muslim world was tarnished after publication of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed in 2005.

ISLAMABAD - Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen vehemently condemned a suicide bombing on his country's embassy in Pakistan on Monday, describing the attack as "cowardly" and unjustifiable.
   
"Regardless of the motive (for this attack) and regardless of who committed it, this is a horrible, cowardly crime, which we condemn vehemently and for which there is no justification," Rasmussen told reporters on the outskirts of Copenhagen.
   
At least eight people were reportedly killed in the blast. None of the four Danes stationed at the Islamabad mission was hurt, but one Pakistani employee at the embassy died and three others were injured.  
   
No one has yet to claim responsibility for the attack, but it could be the latest backlash over cartoons of the Muslim Prophet Mohammed published in Denmark.
   
At least 17 Danish newspapers in February reprinted a controversial caricature of the Prophet drawn by a Danish cartoonist.
   
The cartoon, featuring the prophet's head with a turban that looked like a bomb with a lit fuse, was first published in 2005 along with 11 others and sparked violent protests across the Muslim world.
   
At the time, Danish diplomatic offices in Damascus and Beirut were torched and dozens of people were killed in Nigeria and other places before the protests tapered off.
   
Denmark's government has voiced regret for any offence caused by the drawings, but has stubbornly refused to apologise for their publication, saying that Danes enjoy freedom of expression.
   
Rasmussen on Monday insisted "Denmark will not change its policies due to terrorism."
   
"We will not give in to terrorists and we will maintain the foreign and security policies we have been pursuing," he added.
   
The head of Denmark's centre-right coalition government said his country had received "condolences and commiseration for what happened from the Pakistani president, prime minister and foreign minister."
   
"The government is following the situation closely and is in constant contact with Pakistani authorities," he said, adding that the Danish foreign ministry was preparing to send a support team to Islamabad.
   
"The (Danish) intelligence services are in the process of clarifying the circumstances surrounding this bomb attack," Rasmussen said.

Date created : 2008-06-02

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