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At least three people have been killed in a large blast near the Danish embassy in the Pakistani capital Islamabad, according to reports.
At least three people were hurt. The cause of the explosion, at about midday local time (0600 GMT), is not known.
TV pictures showed extensive damage to the embassy building and several vehicles outside, and a large crater was created by the blast.
Residents in the area reported windows broken and a huge cloud of smoke.
Some Danish embassies around the world have been threatened since a cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad was reprinted in Danish newspapers in February.
The cartoons, deemed offensive to Islam, led to worldwide protests when they were first printed in September 2005.
The blast, heard more than two miles away, sheared off the embassy's front wall and kicked in its metal front gate. The impact blew out the building's windows and also damaged the offices of a nonprofit organization. The Danish and the EU flag, knocked off their staff, hung limply from a spot on the embassy balcony.
The embassy is in a diplomatic enclave that houses several other foreign offices.
Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir told reporters at the scene that police are beefing up security at embassies and foreign missions throughout the city.
Ahmed Qureshi, a political analyst, told Al Jazeera that the timing was very strange if it was an attack in response to the publication of the cartoons.
"The timing is very strange... It is not an issue right now, it's over. No one, not even in the tribal areas, is talking about the cartoons," he said.
Sheikh Abdul Wahed Pedersen, Imam of Danish speaking Muslims, agreed.
"The timing is indeed strange ... It is not a hot topic here [in Demark], it is not a hot topic anywhere else," he said.
"It could also be a direct attack on the political situation in Pakistan - a double-hit... It could also be in relation to Afghanistan, Denmark is working in Afghanistan."
The country has about 550 troops stationed in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province.
Originally posted by Attari
Coming back to the topic. Most Pakistanis will be happy about this bombing because the Danes dared disrespect their Prophet.
The suicide bomber attack against our embassy in Islamabad is the first of its kind against a small and peaceful Scandinavian society like ours. We can all share the immediate reaction of our political leaders, who condemn this attack of wanton violence against innocent people. Nothing can justify it, we rightly say.
But it has nevertheless happened.
The comparison with the United States or Israel was actually made immediately after the attack by a prominent member of the Danish People´s Party here in Copenhagen, who suggested that the government should deploy special forces abroad to prevent future attacks.
The comparison is of course exaggerated: We have not been at war with our neighbours for a long time, we do not defend ourselves by occupying Palestine, and we are not a global superpower with the enemies and responsibilities that entails. The comparison is exaggerated, but not groundless. We were part of the invasion of Iraq, we have fighting troops in Afghanistan, we were at the centre of the cartoon affair in 2006 and again earlier this year, and the government recently banned religious headscarves in our courts after an islamophobic campaign by its parliamentary partner, the Danish Peoples Party.
The Russian secret services provoked the "caricature scandal"
The Russian secret services provoked the "caricature scandal", Chechen Press said, quoting a former colonel of FSB of Russia Alexander Litvinenko who nowadays lives in England as the political refugee. According to him the editor of the culture department of Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, Flemming Rose, who was the initiator of the publication of blasphemous caricatures of Muhammad has secretly left Denmark and gone to Russia where he worked previously as a correspondent for Jyllands-Posten and where he has relatives. Litvinenko said that Flemming Rose is closely connected to the Russian special services. The Danish journalist is married to the daughter of the general of KGB (FSB), that, in Litvinenko's opinion, unequivocally bears witness that Rose has earned the full trust of Russian special services and that Rose has for a long time been s the secret agent of KGB - FSB.
It is safe to say that Flemming Rose, who repeatedly visited the Chechen Republic even though is was a "prohibited area" for all western journalists, would not have be able to do so if the FSB of Russia was not fully convinced of his loyalty to the Kremlin.
Contemporary active measures are not confined to Russian soil. In fact, the recent controversy over cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad may well have been choreographed by the SVR, Russia’s foreign intelligence service. The evidence is circumstantial but compelling. For one, Kalugin says, the KGB has a history of using Danish journalists to plant disinformation in the Western press. And Flemming Rose, the Jyllands Posten cultural editor who commissioned the cartoons in 2005, happened to serve for several years as a correspondent in Moscow where, Kalugin observes, he published a spate of obviously government-sponsored, anti-Chechen articles. According to Litvinenko and journalist Adlan Beno, Rose also happens to be married to the daughter of an ex-KGB officer. This does not per se make Rose a Russian agent, of course, but Russian intelligence may well have availed itself of this “in-house” connection to influence the Danish journalist. “This guy may have been used,” Kalugin says. As the cartoon controversy spread across the globe, scores of brand new Danish flags turned up mysteriously all over the Middle East just in time to be set ablaze by enraged demonstrators at internationally televised protests. Predictably, Muslim anger quickly turned toward the West at large. “Some obscure Danish newspaper [prints these cartoons], and all the sudden across the Western world, everybody knows what’s it all about. Who organized it? Who ignited the process?” asks Kalugin, identifying a top suspect himself: The SVR.