Blasphemous cartoons

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Blasphemous cartoons: Two killed in Lahore protest

LAHORE: Enraged protests against publication of sacrilegious cartoons in the European newspapers have turned more violent.

At least two protesters were killed when firing was opened on the protestors, while a portion of the Punjab Assembly caught fire when the protestors hurled firecrackers on the building during protest outside the building.

Two more buildings and a foreign restaurant were put on fire.

The angry protestors also threw stones on the buildings and caused massive smashes and set ablaze different vehicle and motorcycles as they were marching on the main roads of the city. The furious protestors also caused harm to passersby during the protest march and did firing at different places, triggering panic in the city.

Over 400 markets and business centers observing total strike called by business community. Trade representatives said that the entire business community taking part in the strike regardless of their differences. People belonged to Muslim League (Q), Muslim League (N), Peoples Party and Jaamat-i-Islami and other political parties join hands in the strike to convey the world that no comprise being possible on Thafuz Namoos-i-Risaalat.

Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao said the men died when guards at the Metropolitan bank in Lahore opened fire. "It is a serious development. We are grieved over the loss of precious life," he told private GEO television.

More than 100 people were also injured, none seriously, Lahore Mayor Mian Aamir Mahmood told media. "People have a right to protest but they must desist from attacking public and private property," he said.

Paramilitary troops were deployed to crack down on mobs still running riot in central Lahore and were sent to stand guard outside the US Consulate, officials said.


Posted 15 Feb 2006

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