US embassies attacked as anti-Islam film protests widen

Protesters angered by a film made in the US and mocking Islam have attacked Western embassies in Tunisia and Sudan.

Footage shows protesters in Khartoum storming the German embassy

Protesters in Khartoum entered the US compound, while the German and UK embassies were also attacked. The US compound in Tunis was also breached by protesters, who started a fire in the car park as police fired shots.

There were further clashes in Yemen and Egypt. One person in Lebanon has died.

Protests began on Tuesday against the film, which was made in the US.

However, the film - clips of which were dubbed into Arabic and distributed online - has no link to either Germany or the UK.

It depicts the Prophet Muhammad as a womaniser and leader of a group of men who enjoy killing.

The film's exact origin and the motivation behind its production remain a mystery.

'March abandoned'

In Tunisia, hundreds of protesters entered the embassy compound and set fire to several vehicles in the car park.

Police have fired shots, but it is not clear whether these are rubber bullets or live rounds.

Demonstrators raised a black flag bearing the Islamic proclamation of faith: "There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger."

The American school in Tunis has also been set on fire.

The German embassy in Khartoum was set partially alight. Demonstrators tore down the German flag and hoisted an Islamic banner in its place.

The German foreign ministry confirmed all its staff in Khartoum were safe.

In Cairo, police firing tear gas pushed about 500 protesters back from the US embassy. The streets nearby have been blocked with barbed wire, concrete and police vehicles.

Islamist groups and others had called for a peaceful "million-man march" in the city, but a number withdrew those calls on Friday.

The Muslim Brotherhood of Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi said it would organise marches and sit-ins in front of mosques - but none outside the US embassy in Cairo.

After talks with Italian leaders in Rome, Mr Mursi reiterated his government's determination to protect foreign diplomats on its soil. He also condemned the film as unacceptable.

In other developments:
In the Yemeni capital Sanaa, security forces fired warning shots and water cannon to disperse protesters near the US embassy
The US is sending a fast-response team of 50 marines to Sanaa to boost security
In the Lebanese city of Tripoli, protesters set fire to a KFC branch, sparking clashes with security forces
In Bangladesh, thousands of demonstrators demanded harsh punishment for the film's makers, and burned the American flag
In London, about 200 protesters gathered outside the US embassy, burning the US and Israeli flags but there was no violence
About 1,000 people joined a protest in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad, burning an effigy of US President Barack Obama
The US embassy in Brussels has been evacuated
Thousands of Palestinians demonstrated in the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem
In Nigeria, police in the flashpoint northern city of Jos fired live round at a protest outside a mosque
There were also protests in eastern Sri Lanka and in the Maldives

The protests against the film began on Tuesday in Cairo.

They spread to the Libyan city of Benghazi, where demonstrators stormed the US consulate, killing the ambassador and three other Americans.

US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are attending a ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base for the return of the remains of the Americans killed.

The US has said it is stepping up security at its diplomatic missions around the world in the wake of the attack.

The BBC has been told that the US consulate in Benghazi was not given the standard security contract offered to most US diplomatic missions in the Middle East.

The allegation came from Western private military contractors.

A White House spokesman has said there was no "actionable intelligence" in advance about the Benghazi attack.

President Obama has now ordered a review of security at US diplomatic facilities around the world.


Popular Posts