Danish cartoonist: 'No regrets'

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The Independent Online

The Danish cartoonist whose depiction of the Prophet Mohamed has sparked worldwide furore has said he has no regrets about the drawings, it emerged yesterday.

Kurt Westergaard risked more fury by saying that his inspiration for the pictures was "terrorism", which he said received "spiritual ammunition" from Islam.

Mr Westergaard, who answered questions from the Glasgow-based Herald in writing through an intermediary, defended the drawings as freedom of expression and the press.

He spoke out as a Pakistani cleric yesterday put a $1m bounty on his head. He is in hiding and hinted to The Herald that the Danish secret service, PET, was guarding him.

In the latest wave of protests over the drawings, a Libyan mob set fire to the Italian consulate in Benghazi yesterday in a riot that killed at least 10 people.

The cartoons began in Denmark's Jyllands-Posten paper last September and have appeared in newspapers in France, Germany, Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands and Spain. Asked if he had anticipated the controversy, he replied, "No".