Prophet cartoon protesters attack Western businesses

February 15, 2006|By NEWSDAY

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Pakistani protests against the Danish cartoons satirizing the Prophet Muhammad spilled into violent attacks on American and European businesses yesterday.

Thousands marched in the streets of Lahore, Pakistan's cultural capital, and started a riot when a security guard shot protesters who were threatening a bank. The mob burned or stoned outlets of KFC, McDonald's and Pizza Hut, a Holiday Inn and an office of Telenor, a Norwegian mobile phone company.

TV footage also showed more random destruction, as protesters burned the Punjab province legislative building, parked cars and motorcycles, and a fire truck.

The violence raises the political challenges facing Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, who already is confronting insurgencies in two provinces and popular opposition to his alignment with Washington.

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