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Danish Embassy On Fire

Xàbia Shrimper

Spanish Shrimpers
Oct 24, 2003
Xàbia, España
Lebanese protesters have set the Danish embassy in Beirut on fire in protest at the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

Thousands of people rallied outside the building and security forces fired tear gas in an attempt to keep them at bay. But smoke was later seen rising from the building housing the Danish mission after demonstrators broke into it. The demonstration in Beirut descended into violence when Islamic extremists tried to break through security barriers protecting the embassy. Some 2,000 army troops and riot police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse them and fired their weapons into the air. But the onslaught continued and the embassy building was set ablaze. Witnesses said at least 10 injured people were taken away in ambulances, the AP news agency reported. The embassy building, which also houses commercial offices, was believed to be unoccupied.

Some people in the crowd are not happy with the violence, thinking this was going to be a peaceful demonstration, reports the BBC's Jim Muir from the scene of the violence. He says some of the wilder elements in the crowd have succeeded in turning it into a very angry and quite violent demonstration. There were also reports of damage to property in a Christian area of the city.