Latest developments on anti-Islam film protests
CAIRO (AP) – Here’s a look at protests across the Middle East and elsewhere on Friday, four days after crowds angry over an anti-Muslim film ridiculing the Prophet Muhammad began assaulting a string of U.S. embassies in the region.
Security forces opened fire in the northeastern Lebanese city of Tripoli, killing one person after a crowd angry over the film set fire to a KFC and a Hardee’s restaurant. About 25 people were wounded in the melee, including 18 policemen who were hit with stones and glass.
Several hundred protesters stormed the German Embassy in the capital, Khartoum, burning a car parked behind its gates and trash cans before police firing tear gas drove them out. There appeared to be no injuries to embassy staff and no apparent damage to the building. Most protesters then dispersed, but one group marched to the nearby British Embassy.
Security forces shot live rounds in the air and fired tear gas at a crowd of around 2,000 protesters trying to march to the U.S. Embassy in the capital, Sanaa. Police kept the crowd at bay about a block away. Friday’s demonstration came a day after hundreds stormed the embassy compound and burned the American flag.
Riot police clashed with hundreds of protesters blocks away from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, as the president broadcast an appeal to Muslims to protect embassies and tried to patch up strained relations with Washington. After weekly prayers, a crowd in Cairo’s Tahrir Square tore up an American flag, and waved a black, Islamist flag. When protesters tried to move toward the embassy, ranks of police confronted them, firing tear gas.
Thousands shouted “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” in Tehran in a demonstration after Friday prayers. Some burned the American and Israeli flags. State TV says similar protests were held in other Iranian cities.
More than 2,000 protesters chanted against the film and burned American and Israeli flags after Friday prayers in Diraz, outside the capital, Manama. Security forces were absent. Separately, Bahrain’s Interior Ministry ordered media regulators to attempt to block access to the film clip.
Hundreds demonstrated in Baghdad’s northern Sunni neighborhood of Azamaiyah, some shouting: “No, no America! No, no to Israel,” and, “We are ready to sacrifice ourselves for our Prophet.” Dozens also marched in Baghdad’s poor Sadr City district. In the southern city of Basra, about 1,000 took to the streets and burned the American and Israeli flags. One banner said: “Freedom doesn’t mean offending two billion Muslims.”
A crowd of several thousand demonstrators protested outside the US embassy in Tunis. Police responded to stone-throwing with tear gas. An AP reporter on the scene witnessed several people overcome by intense clouds of gas. An army helicopter flew overhead while armored vehicles protected the embassy.
The Israeli police say about 400 people marched toward the U.S. consulate in east Jerusalem in protest over the prophet film. Demonstrators threw bottles and stones at police, who responded by firing stun grenades. Four protesters were arrested and the crowd was prevented from reaching the U.S. consulate.
In the city of Nablus, about 200 people demonstrated against the film as Muslim clerics throughout the territory preached against it in Friday sermons.
About 200 protesters waved the Syrian flag and shouted anti-American slogans outside the long-closed U.S. Embassy in Damascus. The crowd held banners saying: “He who curses the Prophet doesn’t seek democracy” and “a nation whose Prophet is Muhammad, would never kneel down.” The U.S. embassy has been closed since February because of the country’s bloody conflict that has killed about 23,000 people.
About 1,500 protested outside the eastern city of Jalalabad, shouting “Death to America” and urging President Hamid Karzai to sever relations with the U.S.
Hundreds of hardline Muslims held peaceful protests against the film throughout Pakistan, shouting slogans and carrying banners criticizing the U.S. and those involved in the film. Police in Islamabad set up barricades and razor wire to block off a diplomatic enclave where the U.S. Embassy and many other foreign missions are located.
About 1,000 protesters gathered outside the heavily guarded U.S. Embassy in the capital Doha, chanting anti-US slogans and calling for Washington to remove its military presence from the strategic Gulf nation.
An influential cleric reminded worshippers that the American government had no role in the film and that “loyalty to the Prophet is not expressed by attacking embassies.”
In London, around 250 protesters marched noisily but peacefully through Britain’s capital to the U.S. embassy. The group, which called itself the “Defenders of The Prophet,” held placards denouncing the U.S. and perceived Western imperialism.
Hundreds of people gathered in Istanbul’s Beyazit Square to protest the prophet film. The protest was organized by Turkey’s main Islamist political party, Saadet.
Thousands protested in the volatile Indian-controlled region of Kashmir, burning U.S. flags and calling President Barack Obama a “terrorist.” The top government cleric reportedly demanded Americans leave immediately.
In the southern city of Chennai, protesters threw stones at the U.S. Consulate, shattering some windows and burning an effigy of Obama. Police quickly cleared the area, arresting more than 100 protesters.
Some 5,000 hardline Muslims marched in the streets of the capital, Dhaka, after Friday prayers, burning U.S. and Israeli flags and calling for the death of the filmmaker. Police prevented them from marching toward the U.S. Embassy several miles away.