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Lebanese minister resigns over Danish embassy burning in cartoons protest

[JURIST] Lebanese Interior Minister Hassan Sabeh resigned his post Sunday after rioters protesting the Danish publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad [JURIST news archive] set fire to the Danish embassy in Beirut [JURIST report]. Sabeh had been criticized [Beirut Daily Star editorial] for failing to protect the building; he said that security forces using tear gas and batons had been unable to stop "thousands" of rioters, but explained that he had declined to authorize police to open fire on the crowd as "I did not want to be responsible for any carnage." Aljazeera has more. Some 174 people were arrested in the disturbance, almost half of whom Lebanese officials say are Syrian. The Danish and Norwegian embassies in Damascus were torched by protestors [JURIST report] Saturday, possibly with the Syrian government's tacit backing [Independent report]. Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora is quoted as saying “Those who are committing these acts have nothing to do with Islam or with Lebanon.” The Financial Times has more.

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