Cartoon protesters torch US firms in Pakistan

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February 15, 2006 04:08

 
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Thousands protesting cartoons of Prophet Muhammad rampaged through two cities in Pakistan, burning and vandalizing Western hotels and fast-food restaurants in violence that left at two people dead. At least two people were killed in Lahore, where intelligence officials suspected outlawed Islamic militant groups incited the violence to undermine President Gen. Pervez Musharraf's US-allied government. In Lahore, rioters also damaged over 200 cars, dozens of shops - many locally owned - and a large portrait of Musharraf, witnesses said. American brands were targeted. Protesters vandalized a Citibank branch and broke windows at a Holiday Inn hotel, a Pizza Hut and a McDonald's restaurants. A security guard shot and killed two protesters trying to force their way into a bank, said Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao. At least 11 other people were injured in the riots.

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