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.
Violent protests outside the U.S. Embassy in the capital, Tunis, were met with tear gas and gunshots, leaving two people dead, 29 others injured and plumes of black smoke wafting over the city.
Several dozen protesters briefly stormed the embassy compound, tearing down the American flag and raising a banner bearing the Muslim profession of faith. They also set fire to an American school adjacent to the embassy compound and prevented firefighters from approaching it.
The American School in Tunis was badly damaged and is now ‘‘unusable,’’ State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters. All embassy personnel are safe and accounted for.
Protesters who breached the walls at the embassy in Tunis did damage to the exterior — walls, broken windows and cars in the parking lot, the State Department said.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called the Tunisian prime minister Friday to make sure that security efforts were being properly coordinated.
Riot police clashed with hundreds of protesters blocks away from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, killing one protester, 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.
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.
Two or three protesters managed to climb the embassy wall but were repelled by Sudanese security forces. Vice President Joe Biden called Sudanese Vice President Taha to discuss the situation. Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides also spoke with Sudanese officials to ensure that security was stepped up. All embassy personnel are safe and accounted for.
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. The U.S. State Department said the embassy compound was not breached Friday and that all personnel were safe and accounted for.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.’’Continued...