Anti-Islam Film: Friday protests, attacks on embassies

Victims in Tunisia and Lebanon, clashes in Cairo

14 September, 19:33

(ANSAmed) - ROME, SEPTEMBER 14 - Tensions on Friday remained high throughout the Islamic world and beyond over the US-produced film Innocence of Muslims, which many say blasphemes the Prophet Mohamed. The protests have spread from Kenya to the Sudan, from Pakistan to Qatar, from Nigera to the Gaza Strip, some turning violent and causing victims.

In Tunis, where Salafite clerics called for a protest march, demonstrators smashed through the protective barrier around the US embassy, setting fire to a dozen diplomatic cars in the parking lot, witnesses said. Three people are reported dead, after police fired on the demonstrators. The embassy staff was evacuated "with great difficulty," Al Jazeera TV reported.

Uniformed men, probably Marines, have taken up positions on the embassy's roof and balconies, witnesses said. In the Greater Tunis municipality of L'Aouine, protesters attacked and set fire to the American Cooperative School of Tunis.

Violent clashes took place in Cairo, where hundreds of protesters covered police in a hail of stones in front of the US embassy, where security forces had raised a three-meter high cement block barrier. Police lobbed tear gas as the protest widened into the street along the Nile at the height of the embassy. In Lebanon, one person died and 25 were wounded when several hundred protesters set fire to a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in the northern port city of Tripoli.

The White House strenuously disavows any responsibility for the video, which is enraging the Islamic world. "We have judged [it] to be reprehensible and disgusting," White House spokesperson Jay Carney said on Friday. "That in no way justifies any violent reaction to it. We reject its contents. We have a history of religious tolerance, but there is no justification for violence." Also on Friday, Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said that his ministry "has taken all necessary measures to protect diplomatic personnel and Italian communities" living in countries where the protests are taking place. (ANSAmed).


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