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Cartoon Jihad escalates as three die during rampages against Western businesses across Pakistan

February 15, 2006

3 die in new Pakistan protests

Third day of violence over cartoons erupts in Pakistan

LAHORE, Pakistan (CNN) -- Deadly violence erupted Wednesday across Pakistan as several thousand demonstrators stormed through the streets of Peshawar and Lahore to protest the publication of caricatures of the Muslim Prophet Mohammed, police said.

At least three people died in a third day of protests and clashes with police -- two in Peshawar and one in Lahore. Authorities said dozens had been injured.

There were smaller outbreaks of violence in five other Pakistani cities.

According to authorities in Peshawar, protesters, many of them students, set fire to a KFC restaurant, a cinema and several other buildings, including a Daewoo bus terminal that contained 16 buses, as they rampaged through the city. A number of cars and motorcycles were also burned.

Police used tear gas to try to break up the crowd.

At least two people were killed in violence in Lahore and Islamabad on Tuesday.

In Lahore, protesters burned more than a dozen buildings, including the provincial assembly building, two banks, the offices of Norwegian cell phone company Telenor and a KFC.

Police responded with tear gas as authorities called in Pakistani paramilitary forces to calm the disturbance.

In Islamabad, protesters attacked the Foreign Ministry building, as well as Telenor offices, police said.

Protests have escalated in recent weeks, more than four months after the political cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed were originally published in a Danish newspaper. Some Muslims consider his depiction to be blasphemy.

CNN is not showing the negative caricatures of the likeness of the Prophet Mohammed because the network believes its role is to cover the events surrounding the publication of the cartoons while not unnecessarily adding fuel to the controversy itself.

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