Gaza gunmen surround EU office, protesting cartoon

February 2, 2006 12:03

Palestinian gunmen took up position outside the EU Commission's office Thursday and said they were closing it in protest over a newspaper cartoon that has riled the Muslim world. The gunmen also demanded apologies from the governments of France, Denmark and Norway after newspapers in these countries printed the caricatures of the prophet Muhammad. The drawings first appeared in a Danish newspaper in September, and were later reprinted in several other European papers rallying to defend freedom of expression. In a statement read by one of the gunmen, the group demanded apologies from the governments of Norway, Denmark and France and called on Palestinians to boycott the products of the three countries. A leaflet signed by a Fatah militia and the militant Islamic Jihad group said the EU office and churches in Gaza could come under attack and urged all French citizens to leave Gaza.

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