20 Sep 2012

Demonstrators target US embassy in Pakistan

Protesters angry over a controversial film which mocks the prophet Mohammed are attempting to break into the US embassy in Islamabad.

The film, which is believed to have been made in the US by a Coptic Christian, has sparked an outpouring of anger across the world. From Afghanistan to Sudan and across the middle east, many people have taken to the streets to vent their anger.

Hundreds of Pakistanis angry at an anti-Islam film that denigrates the religion’s prophet have clashed with police in the Pakistani capital Islamabad. Police official Mohammed Iqbal says the crowd numbers more than 1,000 people and most of them are students.

The US ambassador to Libya and three of his staff were killed when protesters breached the US embassy in Benghazi.

Read more: the film behind the fury

Television footage of the demonstrations shows police using tear gas and batons to try to keep demonstrators away from a restricted enclave that houses government offices and embassies.

The government lined up hundreds of shipping containers to cordon off the enclave that is also home to the US embassy. Mr Iqbal said students were trying to make their way to the American embassy, but police were holding them back.

Pakistani riot police charge a demonstrator attempting to reach the US embassy during a protest against an anti-Islam film in Islamabad (Getty)

Meanwhile, the US has warned its citizens that the presence of al-Qaeda, Taliban elements, and “indigenous militant sectarian groups poses a potential danger to US citizens throughout Pakistan.”

Officials upgraded their ongoing caution about the travel risks in Pakistan, explicitly advising Americans to put off any non-essential travel to the country. They also “strongly urged” those who are already there to avoid protests and large gatherings.