PESHAWAR, Pakistan – A Pakistani cleric announced a $1 million bounty for killing a cartoonist who drew the Prophet Muhammad. In Libya, a demonstration against the caricatures left the Italian consulate on fire and at least nine people dead, according to an Italian diplomat.
Denmark, where a newspaper first published the cartoons, temporarily closed its embassy in Pakistan and advised its citizens to leave the country.
An Italian consular official, Antonio Simoes-Concalves, said nine protesters had been killed in the demonstration in the Libyan city of Bengazi as armed police fired bullets and tear gas on a crowd of more than 1,000 demonstrators.
Libyan security officials said 11 people had been killed or wounded, but gave no breakdown.
"They are still continually firing," he said late Friday, speaking by telephone from inside the consulate where he was holed up. "They haven't managed to block them."
The Italian Foreign Ministry confirmed that the first floor of the consulate had been set on fire after the crowd charged into the grounds late Friday.
Libyan state television showed firefighters trying to put out the fire, ambulances taking casualties away from the scene and five cars that were severely damaged in the riot.
Security officials said the demonstrators hurled stones and bottles at the consulate, and later entered the grounds and set fire to the building and a consular car.
Police fired shots to try to disperse the crowd, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the press.
No Italians inside the compound were injured, the Italian Foreign Ministry said.