Violent protests against cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed first published in a Danish newspapers have spread across Asia. In Afghanistan at least one person was killed when police opened fire at a crowd throwing stones at a police station. In the capital Kabul protesters targeted the Danish embassy, calling for the country’s troops in the Nato-led peacekeeping force to be expelled.
There were demands for an apology from Copenhagen in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country. Editors in many European countries have republished the cartoons in the name of freedom of speech. Many Muslims consider images of Mohamed to be blasphemous and deeply offensive. Meanwhile the Lebanese government has apologised to Copenhagen after rioting which saw the Danish mission in Beirut set on fire. Security is high in the wake of the outburst in which at least one person died and 30 were injured. The Lebanese say that 76 Syrians and 35 Palestinians were among the 200 people arrested, prompting claims from the US that Damascus has taken advantage of the wave of anger to stir up resentment.