At least eight people are dead and two dozen injured after a suicide bombing at the Danish embassy in Islamabad.
At least five to six cars were destroyed in the blast which tore the facade of the front of the building and demolished the front gate. The explosion also shattered hopes that peace deals with pro-Taliban militants would bring an end to violence here.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the blast, but the Danes have been the subject of numerous threats in the controversy over anti-Muslim cartoons.
Police say the dead include two embassy security guards, two policemen, a cleaner at the United Nations Development Program, which was located in front of the embassy, and at least two passers-by, including a young girl.
The embassy is in a residential area of the capital city and has very high security. The Danish ambassador lives next door. The Danish embassy staff had moved most of their operations to the back of the compound fearing that an explosion would take out the windows of the building, which it did. It is unclear how the bomber or bombers were able to access the area. The nearby Norwegian embassy closed temporarily last year after a mob of protesters mistakenly targeted their embassy instead of the Danish one over the cartoon furor. The nearby Dutch embassy staff had moved to the Serena Hotel months ago and hadn't been operating out of the main facility.
Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and his top deputy Ayman al Zawahri both called for attacks on Danish targets following the late 2005 publication in Denmark of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. The controversy sparked major riots around the world, especially outside Danish embassies, and led to 139 deaths.
Earlier this year, the release of an anti-Islam film in the Netherlands renewed the controversy.
In November 2004, a Muslim extremist killed Theo van Gogh in Amsterdam for a film that included text from the Koran imposed over the image of a naked female.