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Muslim Protests Against Prophet Cartoons Spread Across Asia, Middle East


New protests over controversial political cartoons that many Muslims see as an insult to the prophet Muhammad erupted Tuesday across Asia and the Middle East.

Five thousand Pakistani Muslims at a rally in the northwestern city of Peshawar burned effigies of the prime minister of Denmark, where the satirical cartoons first appeared, and of the cartoonist who drew a caricature portraying Muhammad as a bomb-carrying terrorist.

Afghan officials say one protester was killed and several others wounded during a violent demonstration near a NATO base in the northwestern city of Maymana. Separately, about 200 people protested outside the Danish diplomatic mission in Kabul.

In Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, Denmark's diplomatic staff urged all Danes to leave the country for their own safety. Hundreds of Indonesian students rallied outside a European Union office in Aceh province.

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, blamed what he called a "Zionist conspiracy" for the publishing caricatures of the Prophet to trigger a confrontation between Muslims and Christians.

Iranian demonstrators threw fire bombs at the Danish embassy in Tehran for a second straight day.

Several people were injured in Indian Kashmir, where Muslim protesters clashed with police in Srinagar.

The original cartoons, printed in a Danish newspaper in September, included a drawing depicting the prophet of Islam as a terrorist, with his turban concealing a bomb. News media in several European countries and in New Zealand recently republished the caricatures.

The United States has condemned the violent protests.

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