17 Sep 2012

Afghans in prophet film protest at US base

Hundreds of Afghan protesters burn cars and throw rocks at a military camp on the outskirts of Kabul in protest against an anti-Islam film.

Afghan police said the crowd of around 800 people massed at the main thoroughfare of the Jalalabad road, near a US base.

The crowd is said to have burnt shipping containers and tyres. Provincial police chief Daoud Amin also said at least one police vehicle has been set ablaze. Police fired shots into the air to hold the crowd back.

Rocks were thrown at Camp Phoenix, the US military base that lies along the road, with crowds shouting “death to America” and “death to those people who have made a film and insulted our prophet”.

One protester, Mohammad Humayun, said: “All of the time, they (Americans) are creating so much anger among the Muslims by insulting the Koran, insulting Muslims and the prophet of the Muslims.

“People around the world are angry. It is the responsibility of all Muslims to show reaction whenever they hear any disregard and disrespect.”

Herat province (Reuters)

By late morning the protest appeared to be dying down, but reaction was flaring elsewhere in the city, police said. In the south eastern part of Kabul, about 50 protesters gathered in front of a mosque, shouting “Death to America,” said police officer Ahmad Shafiq.

Today’s protest is the latest sparked by the US-made film Innocence of Muslims, the low-budget film which mocks the Prophet Mohammed.

In neighbouring Pakistan around 3,000 teachers and students gathered in the town of Chaman, in south western Baluchistan province. The crowd burned an American flag and an effigy of Obama, said police officer Mohammad Shahid.

On Sunday, hundreds of Pakistanis protesting against the film broke through a barricade near the US consulate in the southern city of Karachi, sparking clashes with police in which at least one demonstrator was killed.

In a televised speech, Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah said the US must be held accountable for the film. The US government has condemned the film.

“The ones who should be held accountable and boycotted are those who support and protect the producers, namely the US administration,” he said.

Afghan protests (Reuters)

Violence across the Middle East

Last week hundreds of protesters stormed the US embassy in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, with reports saying that one protester was shot dead by police. That protest followed the rocket-propelled grenade attack on the US embassy in Libya which killed four people, including the US ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens.

Libyan leader Mohammed Magarief told US new channel CBS yesterday that 50 people had been arrested in connection with the attack in Benghazi. He said some of the suspects were from outside Libya.

London (Reuters)

The protests in Afghanistan also follow a weekend of violence in which eight Nato troops were killed in attacks by Afghan forces or those dressed in Afghan uniforms.

Four US troops were killed at a remote checkpoint in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, two British soldiers were shot dead by a man wearing a local Afghan police uniform on Saturday, and two US Marines were killed in an attack on Camp Bastion, where Prince Harry is stationed, on Friday evening.

Yesterday, protestors from Hizb-ut-Tahrir gathered at the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square, London, to protest agains thte film (pictured, right).