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Afghan Protesters Urge Kabul to Punish Denmark, Netherlands for 'Insulting' Islam

Hundreds of protesters in Afghanistan have urged their government to punish Denmark and the Netherlands for cartoons and a film that the demonstrators say insult Islam.

More than 300 students, religious figures and other Afghans joined an anti-Danish and anti-Dutch rally Wednesday in the eastern town of Pul-i-Alam, capital of Logar province. Some burned Danish and Dutch flags.

Elsewhere, about 20 local elected officials rallied in the eastern province of Nangarhar. The protests demanded that Kabul cut ties with Denmark and the Netherlands and expel their forces from Afghanistan.

Afghans have held a series of protests to condemn the recent reprinting of a satirical cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad in Danish newspapers. The rallies also condemned plans by a Dutch lawmaker to release a film critical of the Koran.

There are about 1,500 Dutch troops and 630 Danish soldiers in Afghanistan as part of the multinational NATO-led force fighting Taliban militants and rebuilding the war-shattered country.

In neighboring Pakistan, foreign ministry spokesman, Mohammed Sadiq accused Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders of "propagating the politics of hate and xenophobia" through his upcoming film about the Koran.

Wilders, who has received death threats, has defended his film, saying he does not mean to stir up trouble and wants to exercise his right to freedom of speech.

The Pakistani foreign ministry official says there is a difference between freedom of expression and what he calls "a license to insult."