World Bulletin / News Desk
More than 1,000 Tunisian security forces surrounded a mosque in the capital on Monday where a Salafist leader wanted by police over clashes at the U.S. Embassy last week was meeting hundreds of followers, a Reuters witness said.
Riot police, military and elite anti-terrorism forces cordoned off the al-Fatah mosque where Saif-Allah Benahssine, leader of the Tunisian branch of Ansar al-Sharia, told followers he was not involved in violent protests at the U.S. mission.
A security source told Reuters that Benahssine, also known as Abu Iyadh, was wanted over the protests. Two people died and 29 were wounded when police opened fire as protesters ransacked the U.S. mission over a film mocking the Prophet Mohammad.
Ansar al-Sharia has endorsed a Facebook call to protest against the short film, made with private funds in the United States and trailed online, which portrayed the Prophet Mohammad as a fool and a womaniser.
The moderate Islamist party Ennahda, which leads Tunisia's governing coalition, advised against joining the protests.
Moncef Marzouki, the country's secular president, condemned Friday's attack as unacceptable and said it could hurt relations with Washington. Tunisia's economy is reliant on Western aid after the turmoil that followed the overthrow of its longtime ruler last year.
Libyan officials suspect the Libyan branch of Ansar al-Sharia was behind an attack in which the U.S. envoy to Libya and three other Americans died in anti-film protests last week.
The king's prosecutor late Friday ordered "the opening of an investigation and the arrest of Nasser Zefzafi" after he "obstructed, in the company of a group of individuals, freedom of worship in the Mohammed V mosque in Al-Hoceima".
Saturday's protest in Caracas was held to mark 10 years since the government shuttered a popular television station seen as having anti-government leanings.
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A man aged in his thirties stepped onto the grave and kicked the base of a 1.5-metre (4.9-feet) -high stone cross at its head, causing the cross to topple over and break, they said.
Investigators also gave details of the 22-year-old's last hours as they appealed to the public for any information about his movements in the days running up to Monday night's attack.
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