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Danish Consulate in Beirut Set Ablaze as Cartoon Protests Spread

  • VOA News

Demonstrators in Lebanon have set fire to the building housing the Danish consulate in Beirut in the latest protest over political cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed.

Lebanese security forces fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse the stone-throwing demonstrators. Lebanon's Interior Minister Hassan al-Sabaa resigned following the riot.

The protests come one day after Syrian demonstrators burned the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Damascus.

Muslim and Arab leaders are calling for demonstrators to refrain from violence. Afghan President Hamid Karzai urged Muslims to forgive.

In Baghdad, Iraq's transport ministry said it is canceling all its contracts with Danish companies and will reject any offers of Danish reconstruction money because of the cartoons.

The 12 cartoons fist appeared in a Danish newspaper in September but were recently reprinted across Europe. Islam prohibits any depiction of prophets.

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