Sep 14 2012
Angry demonstrations against an anti-Islam film spread to their widest extent yet today, targeting British and German embassies and clashing with security forces around the Middle East and other Muslim countries.
Several hundred Sudanese stormed into the German Embassy in Khartoum, burning a car and rubbish bins. Police firing tear gas drove the protesters out of the compound, and some then began to demonstrate outside the neighbouring British Embassy,while others left, apparently heading to the US Embassy, which is outside the capital. Germany's foreign minister Guido Westerwelle told reporters the embassy building was "partially in flames but fortunately ... the employees are safe".
A protester was killed in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli in clashes with security forces, after a crowd of protesters set fire to two restaurants. Protesters hurled stones and glass at police in a melee that left 25 people wounded, including 18 police.
Protests were held in dozens of cities after weekly Friday prayers, where many clerics in their mosque sermons denounced the movie produced in the United States that denigrates the Prophet Mohammed. The spread of protests came after attacks earlier this week on the US embassies in Cairo and the Yemeni capital Sanaa and on a US consulate in Libya, where the ambassador and three other Americans were killed.
In Kashmir, thousands of Muslims burned US flags and called president Barack Obama a "terrorist", while the top government cleric reportedly demanded Americans leave the volatile Indian-controlled region immediately. Authorities asked the Indian government to block online clips from the film, but at least 15,000 people took part in more than two dozen protests, chanting "Down with America" and "Down with Israel".
Security forces in Yemen shot live rounds in the air and fired tear gas at a crowd of around 2,000 protesters trying to march to the US Embassy in the capital, Sanaa. A day earlier, hundreds of protesters chanting "Death to America" stormed the embassy compound in Sanaa and burned the American flag. Yemen's president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, quickly apologised to the United States and vowed to track down the culprits.
In Egypt, several hundred protesters massed in Cairo's Tahrir Square after Friday prayers and tore up an American flag, waving a black Islamist flag. A firebrand Salafi cleric blasted the film and in his sermon in Cairo's Tahrir Square said it was upon Muslims to defend Islam and its prophet. Earlier president, Mohammed Morsi, went on state TV and urged Muslims to protect foreign diplomatic missions - his most direct public move to contain protests. He also denounced the killing of the American ambassador in Libya.
In east Jerusalem, Israeli police stopped a crowd of around 400 Palestinians from marching on the US consulate to protest over the film. Demonstrators threw bottles and stones at police, who responded by firing stun grenades. Four protesters were arrested.
In the southern Indian city of Chennai, protesters threw stones at the US consulate, shattering some windows and burning an Obama effigy. Police quickly cleared the area, arresting more than 100 protesters. In Bangladesh, about 5,000 hardline Muslims marched in Dhaka's streets after prayers, burning US and Israeli flags and calling for the death of the film-maker. Police prevented them from marching toward the US Embassy several miles away.
In Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, about 200 protesters chanted slogans and held up signs in a largely peaceful protest outside the heavily guarded US embassy in Jakarta. A small, peaceful demonstration was held outside the US Embassy in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.