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Islamic Cartoon War Escalates

Posted on January 12, 2015

A German tabloid that reprinted cartoons from the French satirical paper Charlie Hebdo was targeted in firebombing Sunday.

With security services on high alert after a killing spree in Paris by extremists, police in the northern German port city of Hamburg said no one was injured in the blaze at the headquarters of the regional daily Hamburger Morgenpost, which caused only slight damage.

“Rocks and then a burning object were thrown through the window,” a police spokesman told AFP.
“Two rooms on lower floors were damaged but the fire was put out quickly.”

The Hamburger Morgenpost, known locally as the MOPO, had splashed the Charlie Hebdo cartoons on its front page after the massacre at the Paris publication, running the headline “This much freedom must be possible!” Police said the attack had occurred at about 0120 GMT and that two young men seen acting suspiciously near the scene were detained. State security has opened an investigation, a spokesman added. Whether there was a connection between the Charlie Hebdo cartoons and the attack was the “key question”, the spokesman said, adding that it was “too soon” to know for certain.

Police declined to provide further information about the suspects.

No one at the Hamburger Morgenpost, which has a circulation of around 91,000, could immediately be reached for comment. “Thick smoke is still hanging in the air, the police are looking for clues,” the newspaper said in its online edition, under the headline “Arson attack on the MOPO – Due to the ‘Charlie Hebdo’ cartoons?”. It published a picture showing firefighters in the courtyard of the building with a caption saying the incendiary device had been hurled into the basement.

Another photo showed charred newspapers from the tabloid’s archive. It said no one had been in the building at the time.

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