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World news – Embassy 8 – May 2008

Danish Embassy hit

A suicide bomb attack on the Danish Embassy in Islamabad has killed at least six people, wounding dozens of others.

The attack comes just weeks after Osama bin Laden's deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri urged retaliation against Denmark for the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed in Danish newspapers.

Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller said the explosion killed a Pakistani cleaner and a handyman at the embassy and injured two office workers. No Danes were reported among the victims.

The only foreign national injured was a Brazilian woman working at the Danish Embassy but her injuries are not believed to be life threatening.

The bombing was the worst anti-Danish attack since the cartoons appeared in 2005.

Moeller said the prophet cartoons were among several possible motives behind the attack, adding that the presence of 600 Danish troops in the Nato-led mission in Afghanistan was another potential reason.

Denmark has faced threats at its embassies after a dozen newspapers in February reprinted a depiction of Prophet Mohammed wearing a bomb-shaped turban, an image that sparked riots in the Muslim world in 2006.

Norway and Sweden immediately closed their embassies after the blast. The Residence of the Dutch Ambassador, the Australian defence attaché and the Indian High Commissioner, all located near the embassy, were damaged but no injuries were reported.

 Unlike most western embassies, which are clustered in the tightly-guarded diplomatic enclave, the Danish Embassy is situated in a residential area.

Last month the Dutch Embassy, which had received threats after a right-wing Dutch MP published an inflammatory video about Islam, moved its embassy to a five-star hotel.

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