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Protesters return to Danish embassy in Indonesia

By Staff
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JAKARTA, Feb 23 (Reuters) Around 1,000 Indonesians today staged a protest outside a building housing the Danish embassy against cartoons of Prophet Mohammad, two days after the Danish envoy returned to the country.

The demonstrators carried a banner that read ''Denmark is the Evil of the World''. There was no violence during the one-hour rally, watched by around 100 police.

Denmark's envoy left Indonesia on February. 11 because of a ''serious, concrete threat'' against the mission by militants in response to cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad that were published in a Danish newspaper.

The protesters came from a little-known group representing people from the neighbouring province of Banten. They gathered outside the Jakarta building housing the embassy, which is on the 25th floor.

Militant Indonesian Muslims went on a rampage early this month inside the lobby of the building, throwing eggs and tomatoes and tearing up a Danish flag.

At least 50 people have been killed in the protests worldwide.

The protests in Indonesia have abated in recent days and there have been no serious casualties reported during rallies in the world's most populous Muslim nation.

The cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad violate a Muslim prohibition on depicting religious figures, especially the founder of Islam.

The Danish embassy was still closed today and the Dutch embassy in Jakarta has taken over consular tasks for Denmark until the embassy reopens.

REUTERS SHR PM1615

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