No let-up in Pakistan cartoon violence


PESHAWAR/LAHORE: The raging violence over publication of irreverent sketches of the Prophet Muhammad in European countries claimed three more lives in Pakistan on Wednesday. Two people died in Peshawar whereas one person was killed in Lahore as polic

In Peshawar, the mob cardinally targeted foreign firms but its furious reaction also took a heavy toll of local businesses. Responding to the call of Tahufaz-e-Namoos-e-Rasalat (protection of reverence of the Prophet Muhammad) thousands of people ransacked shops and businesses. Police had to resort to tear gas after the demonstrators set ablaze KFC food outlet. Some reports also suggested incidents of firing by protesters in the city. A person died when a power transmission line fell on protesting crowds whereas a stray bullet claimed the life of a young boy. The provincial chief minister urged people to remain calm. "We will not ban rallies against sacrilegious cartoons but protesters must remain peaceful," Chief Minister Akram Durrani is quoted as saying by AFP Meanwhile, Provincial Capital of Punjab, Lahore that witnessed unprecedented violence including ransacking of buildings, torching of vehicles and arson of Punjab assembly and foreign enterprises--- mostly foreign food outlets on Tuesday did not remain clam on Wednesday as one person died when police clashed with students. On the one hand President Musharraf's regime is concerned over the volatile situation emerging in the wake of initiation of protest rallies in the country over publication of blasphemous cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad while on the other the religious parties are attempting to make maximum capital of the issue. The controversial cartoons first appeared in Danish Newspaper, Jyllands-Posten in September last year and were later carried by many European newspapers in January this year.

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