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Hundreds in Anti-Israel Mob Set KFC Ablaze in Pakistan

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By Joh hEYWARD (Breitbart)

Pakistani police made more than 50 arrests after a mob of anti-Israel protesters set fire to a Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) restaurant in the northeastern town of Mirpur on Friday.

The crowd began assembling at the KFC after evening prayers for the Muslim holiday of Ramadan and soon swelled to include more than 400 people. The venue for the protest was evidently chosen because the demonstrators thought it sold “Israeli products,” including Coca-Cola.

Anti-Israel protests and boycotts frequently target Coke even though it has no obvious links to Israel. KFC is also a constant target because its parent company, Yum Brands, has invested in Israel and because another Yum franchise, Pizza Hut, allegedly delivered free food to Israeli military bases after the savage Hamas terrorist attack on October 7. Many observers suspect pro-Hamas demonstrators targeted both brands because they are popular in the Arab world.

The owner of the KFC in Mirpur, Chaudhary Saeed, said he warned the police a week earlier that a group of angry young men was planning to attack his restaurant. He caught the men on video talking about their “mission to shut down KFC next Friday” because “our brothers and sisters are being subjected to cruelty” in Gaza.

One of the demonstrators in the video shouted, “No Israeli products, no Coke!” to applause from the rest of the mob leaders.

The protest on Friday soon became a frenzy of violence and vandalism. The mob shattered windows, looted the restaurant, and set the establishment ablaze. The police received reports of gunfire, which they said they were unable to confirm.

Security personnel inspect the damaged restaurant of the American fast food chain KFC, which pro-Palestinian protesters set on fire in Mirpur, Pakistan, on March 30, 2024. (-/AFP via Getty Images)

A British citizen visiting Mirpur told the UK Daily Mail that the looting and burning of the KFC was “very aggressive and frightening.” He said the Pakistani police have been “fairly useless” due to the amount of perpetrators.

The Daily Mail posted social media photos that showed “a man with blood pouring from his head” and “dozens of people appearing to run to take cover” after what sounded like gunshots. When the police finally arrived and deployed tear gas, dozens of the attackers fled by foot and motorcycle.

Police officials said some of the vandals they arrested were linked to Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), a radical political party that previously organized violent protests against France over satirical images of Islam’s prophet Muhammad that Charlie Hebdo magazine published.

TLP organized a march on Islamabad in November 2021 to demand the closure of the French embassy but abandoned the effort after reaching an agreement with former Prime Minister Imran Khan. Khan mollified the extremists by lifting a ban on TLP that was imposed after its violent reaction to the Charlie Hebdo cartoons.

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