Pakistan - Condemnation for Danish embassy car bombing in reprisal for Mohammed cartoons



    MONTREAL, June 5 /CNW Telbec/ - Reporters Without Borders condemns the
suicide bombing of the Danish embassy in Islamabad on 2 June, which has been
claimed by a branch of Al Qaeda in an online message purportedly posted by the
terrorist organisation. The bombing, which killed eight people and wounded
about 30 others, was a reprisal for the Mohammed cartoons published in
Denmark, the message said.
    "It is understandable that many Muslims throughout the world took offence
at these cartoons of the Prophet, but this does not in any way justify the use
of violence, whether against journalists or diplomatic missions," Reporters
Without Borders said.
    Seven Pakistanis and a Danish citizen of Pakistani origin were killed by
the suicide car bombing which, according to Danish investigators, was prepared
well in advance. The car was able to get close to the embassy building because
it had false diplomatic plates and it approached shortly after security guards
had been replaced.
    The embassy had until recently been getting special protection, which was
introduced after the Mohammed cartoons were reprinted in several Danish
newspapers in February and death threats were made against one of the
cartoonists.
    The claim of responsibility was made in an email message that was posted
the day after the bombing on online forums often used by Islamist militants.
In the message, whose authenticity has not been confirmed, the commander of Al
Qaeda operations in Afghanistan, Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, said the bombing was
"in retaliation against the infidel nation (Denmark) that published cartoons
hostile to Allah's messenger."
    Denmark has been repeatedly criticised and threatened since the cartoons
were first published on 30 September 2005 and their reproduction in media
around the world has prompted much debate about respect for Islam and respect
for press freedom. They have also triggered violence in many Muslim countries
in the Middle East and Asia and journalists have been threatened and
prosecuted for reprinting them or posting them online.




For further information:

For further information: Katherine Borlongan, secretary general,
Reporters Without Borders, (514) 521-4111, Cell: (514) 258-4208, Fax: (514)
521-7771, rsfcanada@rsf.org

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