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22:07, 21 December 2014 Sunday
Update: 14:48, 14 September 2012 Friday

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Clashes in Egypt over anti-Islam film, protests spread
Clashes in Egypt over anti-Islam film, protests spread
(Egypt, AA)

Demonstrators furious at a film they say insults the Prophet Mohammad clashed with police near the U.S. embassy in Cairo on Friday before a nationwide protest.

World Bulletin / News Desk

Demonstrators furious at a film they say insults the Prophet Mohammad clashed with police near the U.S. embassy in Cairo on Friday before a nationwide protest called by the Muslim Brotherhood which propelled Egypt's Islamist president to power.

Protesters also clashed with police in Yemen, where one person died and 15 were injured on Thursday when the U.S. embassy compound was stormed, and crowds gathered against the California-made film in Malaysia, Bangladesh and Iraq.

The film was blamed for an attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans on Tuesday.

Sam Bacile, a Jewish American citizen who said he produced, directed and wrote the two-hour film.

Bacile said the film cost $5 million, some of which was paid by more than 100 Jewish donors, the AP said.

Sam Bacile admitted that his film was intended to be a provocative statement condemning Islam.

"Islam is a cancer, period, and Muslims are bugs that need to be destroyed and I show with my movie that Islam is a religion of hatred," Bacile told U.S. Wall Street Journal.

 

In Nigeria, the government put police on alert and stepped up security around foreign missions.

Scholars in Sudan called a mass protest after Muslim prayers on Friday. The government also criticised Germany for awarding insult to the Prophet.

Obama has vowed to bring those responsible for the Benghazi attack to justice, and the United States sent warships towards Libya which one official said was to give flexibility for any future action.

"LEGAL ACTION"

Cairo protesters threw rocks at police, who threw them back and fired tear gas. A burnt-out car was overturned in the middle of the street leading to the fortified embassy from Tahrir Square, focus of protests that ushered in democracy.

Egypt has said the U.S. government, which has condemned the film, should not be blamed for it, but has also urged Washington to take legal action against those insulting religion.

The Muslim Brotherhood called for a peaceful nationwide protest on Friday. Mursi was the Brotherhood's presidential candidate, although he formally resigned his membership on taking office saying he wanted to represent all Egyptians.

In Libya, authorities said they had made four arrests in the investigation into the attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington had nothing to do with the crudely made film posted on the Internet, which she called "disgusting and reprehensible", and the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff called a Christian pastor in Florida to ask him to withdraw his support for it.

About 300 people protested in Cairo, some waving flags with religious slogans. State media reported 224 injured since violence erupted on Wednesday night after a protest in which the embassy walls were scaled on Tuesday.

"Before the police, we were attacked by Obama, and his government, and the Coptic Christians living abroad," shouted one protester, as he pointed at the police cordon.

Egypt's Coptic Orthodox church has condemned what it said were Copts abroad who had financed the film.

Security forces in Yemen fired warning shots and used water cannons against hundreds of protesters near the U.S. embassy in Sanaa. "Today is your last day, ambassador!", and "America is the devil", some placards read.

The embassy told U.S. citizens it expected more protests against the film. "The security situation remains fluid," it said in a statement posted on its website late on Thursday.

GERMANY CRITICISED

Sudan's Foreign Ministry also criticised Germany for allowing a protest last month by right-wing activists carrying caricatures of the Prophet and for Chancellor Angela Merkel giving an award in 2010 to a Danish cartoonist who insulted the Prophet in 2005 triggering protests across the Islamic world.

The official body of Sudan's Islamic scholars called for the faithful to defend the Prophet peacefully.

"Tomorrow we will all get out to defend Prophet Mohammad ... We will do this peacefully but with strength," Salah el-Din Awad, general secretary of the scholars' body in Khartoum state told reporters after meeting government officials on Thursday.

The Foreign Ministry said in its statement: "The German chancellor unfortunately welcomed this offence to Islam in a clear violation of all meanings of religious co-existence and tolerance between religions."

The U.S. military has dispatched two destroyers toward the Libyan coast. The USS Laboon, was already in position and the other destroyer, the USS McFaul, was at least a day away, a U.S. official said.

The U.S. military also sent a Marine Corps anti-terrorist team to boost security in Libya, whose new prime minister, Mustafa Abu Shagour, confirmed arrests had been made and more could be expected.



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