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UN condemns latest Pakistan attack -

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UN condemns latest Pakistan attack

The World Today - Tuesday, 3 June , 2008 12:38:00

Reporter: Barney Porter

ELEANOR HALL: A suicide bomb attack on the Danish embassy in Pakistan has killed at least eight
people and reignited the furore over the publishing of cartoons deemed offensive to Muslims.

The car bomb was detonated outside the Danish embassy in Islamabad and the United Nations Security
Council has condemned the attack it as a heinous act of terrorism.

Denmark says it believes the attack was intended to damage the relationship between the two
countries but says it is not clear that there is a link to the Danish cartoons of the Prophet
Mohammed.

This report from Barney Porter.

BARNEY PORTER: The blast left a huge crater in the road outside the embassy; wrecked a gate;
destroyed nearby vehicles; and badly damaged the office of a United Nations-funded development
group.

Witnesses described the moment to the BBC.

WITNESS: A lot of people were in commotion. They were shocked. They did not understand what had
happened. A few people holding their hearts because the vibration actually went into your heart and
people were wondering what had happened because nobody knew from which direction it was coming.

WITNESS 2: I felt so much air pressure, it was like a huge air wave which hit me in the back of my
head and I fell between two high speed moving cars and a train and the pressure is so immense at
that time.

BARNEY PORTER: The attack has ended a period of relative calm in Pakistan's capital.

The new government in office for just two months has been pursuing peace deals with militants, a
shift away from the more heavy-handed, US-backed military tactics employed by President Pervez
Musharraf.

Pakistani officials have condemned the attack, but indicate they'll keep up the peace talks.

Pakistan's Foreign Secretary is Salman Bashir.

SALMAN BASHIR: The Pakistani nation feels very ashamed today on incidents such as these. They
certainly damage the fair image of our country.

BARNEY PORTER: There's been no claim of responsibility, but many officials are already linking the
attack to the row over the sketches of the Prophet Mohammed which Danish newspapers first published
in 2005.

One of the 11 cartoons featured the prophet's head with a turban that looked like a bomb with a lit
fuse.

Their publication sparked violent protests across the Muslim world.

At the time, Danish diplomatic offices in Damascus and Beirut were attacked and burnt, and dozens
of people in the Muslim world were killed before the protests tapered off.

Last February, at least 17 Danish newspapers reprinted the cartoons.

Islamabad city official, Iqbal Rana, says the link is clear.

IQBAL RANA (translated): The whole world knows the kind of hatred there is for Denmark, in Pakistan
and also in other countries. They are having protests and I think the terrorist tried to express
this anger by targeting the embassy.

BARNEY PORTER: However, Danish government spokesman, Klaus Holm, says there may be other motives
behind the attack.

KLAUS HOLM: It is actually an attack on Pakistan as well as on Denmark and we will do all we can to
assure that the possible aim of the terrorist, to worsen the relationship between Denmark and
Pakistan, or between the Muslim world and the western world. That they will nto succeed in doing
that.

BARNEY PORTER: Denmark's government has expressed regret for any offence caused by the drawings,
but has refused to apologise for their publication, insisting the Danes enjoy freedom of
expression.

The Danish Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen has condemned the latest attack, and reiterated
the government won't change any of its policies particularly in relation to free speech.

ANDERS FOGH RASMUSSEN (Translated): It is a violent, cowardly attack which has cost innocent
people's lives and injured many and in this tragic situation my thoughts, my deepest sympathy go
out to the victims and their relatives.

ELEANOR HALL: That is the Danish Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen ending that report by Barney
Porter.