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Thousands protest against Prophet cartoons

Over 2,000 Muslims paraded in Bangladesh's capital to protest the publication of drawings of Prophet Mohammad.

india Updated: Feb 10, 2006 15:13 IST

Over 2,000 Muslims paraded in Bangladesh's capital on Friday to protest the publication of drawings of Prophet Mohammad, police and organisers said.

The demonstrators burned a Danish flag during the protest outside Dhaka's main Baitul Mukarram mosque.

They poured into the streets after Friday's noon prayers, many of them shouting: "Death to those who degrade our beloved prophet!"

Riot police stood guard as the protesters marched through downtown streets. No violence was immediately reported. Most of the protesters were from Hizbur Tahrir Bangladesh, a hard-line Islamic group.

The protest occurred far from the Danish Embassy, where authorities deployed extra security forces to prevent any violence.

The drawings, first published in September in Denmark's Jyllands-Posten newspaper and later republished by several other European papers, have triggered fury across the Muslim world, with demonstrations and boycotts of Danish products.

On Thursday, Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia strongly condemned the publication of the cartoons, calling it audacity of the highest order.

"It is our belief that through publishing cartoons of the prophet ... freedom and responsibility have been violated," Zia said in a statement.

However, she said her government does not support any attempt to destroy peace, harmony and stability in protesting the caricatures. Islam is interpreted to forbid any illustrations of the prophet.

The cartoons included an image of Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban with a burning fuse.

First Published: Feb 10, 2006 15:13 IST