Denmark shuts Pakistan mission

Friday 17 February 2006 19.43
Denmark shuts Pakistan mission

Denmark has temporarily shut its embassy in Pakistan amid violent protests over depictions of the Prophet Mohammed.

However, officials have said embassy staff will remain in the country during the temporary closure of the mission in Islamabad.

Five Pakistanis died this week in demonstrations sparked by the cartoons, which were first published in a Danish newspaper last September.

Meanwhile, Pakistan's ambassador to Denmark has been called back to Islamabad ‘for consultations’.

Separately, Pakistani police have put an Islamic leader under house arrest and detained nearly 150 others as the protests broke out.

Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, founder of the militant Lashkar-e-Taiba outfit fighting Indian rule in Kashmir, was held to stop him giving a sermon on the controversy after Friday prayers.

The arrests came as police fired tear gas and used batons to disperse around 2,000 protestors who blocked a major highway and threw stones at buses in the country's largest city Karachi.