Nablus: Rioters close French center over cartoons

February 5, 2006 18:04

Dozens of Palestinian gunmen on Sunday defaced the entrance to a French learning center and attacked a man who tried to protect the building in the latest Palestinian protests against caricatures of the Islamic prophet Mohammed published in European newspapers. In Nablus, about 30 gunmen arrived at the French cultural center planning to vandalize the building, but agreed, after negotiating with Palestinian police guarding the building, only to write on the building. They scrawled in black on the door an "X," "This place is closed" and "God is great." At one point an unidentified man tried to stop them, telling them "this is against Democracy. What you are doing is not good," witnesses said. One of the militants then grabbed the man, pointed an M-16 gun at his head, and then fired the weapon in the air. Palestinian police intervened, taking the man away for protection.

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