06/02/2008, 00.00
PAKISTAN
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Car bomb hits Danish Embassy, killing eight, wounding scores

by Qaiser Felix
The act might be a reaction to the publication of blasphemous cartoons of the prophet Muhammad. A Christian lawmaker condemns the attack. “This does disservice to religion,” he said. “All it does is cast the entire nation in a bad light.”

Islamabad (AsiaNews) – A car bomb placed near the Danish Embassy in Islamabad exploded killing eight people, including two security guards, and injuring more than 30. The blast, which occurred at 1 pm local time (8 am GMT), affected a wide entire area causing damages to nearby buildings and destroying 24 cars.

A team has been constituted to investigate the bomb blast and preliminary results will be released within 24 hours, said Rehman Malik, the Interior Ministry's adviser to the prime minister.

Security officials did not receive any tip off about a possible suicide bombing. Some suggest that it might be in retaliation to the blasphemous cartoons of the prophet Muhammad published two years ago in Denmark, and reprinted again a few months ago.

Mr Malik confirmed the death of the two security agents involved in the blast.

Khalil Tahir, a Christian lawmaker in the Punjab provincial legislature, condemned the attack, expressing sorrow for the victims’ families.

“This does a disservice to religion,” he told AsiaNews. “All it does is cast the entire nation in a bad light. The cartoons were not published in Pakistan, nor were they circulated among our fellow citizens. All the dead and wounded though are Pakistani.”

Mr Tahir, who also chairs an NGO that offers free legal aid, added that the “killing of innocent people cannot be justified in any way,” “because those who were caught up in the blast were not involved in the publication or the dissemination of the cartoons.”

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