Demonstrations over film that mocks Islam spread - Middle East - World - The Independent

Demonstrations over film that mocks Islam spread

Hundreds of Yemenis managed to break through the main gate of the US Embassy compound, where they smashed windows and set cars alight.

Demonstrators today attacked US embassies in Yemen and Egypt in opposition to a film they consider blasphemous towards Islam.

Protests were also reported elsewhere across the middle east and North Africa, including Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia.

American warships were today heading towards Libya after the killing of the US ambassador in Benghazi on Tuesday.

The details surrounding the attack in Benghazi are unclear, and it is not yet known whether the incident is related to the contentious film.

It is not known whether the attack was a protest that got out of hand, or was in fact violence co-ordinated by a militant jihadist group.

In Yemen today hundreds of protesters broke into the compound in which the American embassy is housed.

Hundreds of Yemenis managed to break through the main gate of the compound, where they smashed windows and set cars alight.

Police fired warning shots in the air but were unable to prevent the crowd gaining access to the compound.

"We can see a fire inside the compound and security forces are firing in the air. The demonstrators are fleeing and then charging back," one witness told Reuters.

According to some reports there were injuries on both sides with at least 15 people sustaining injuries - some of which were due to gunfire.

The Yemeni government surrounded the area with troops before protesters were dispersed using water cannons and warning shots. An embassy spokesperson this afternoon confirmed that all embassy staff were safe.

Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, condemned the film which gave rise to the protests as "disgusting" and "reprehensible" - but said its contents were no excuse for violence.

In Egypt the US embassy was also attacked by protesters who hurled stones at a police cordon surrounding the building in central Cairo.

Protesters entered the compound and tore down the American flag. According to some reports up to 13 people were hurt in the violence which erupted on Tuesday and continued late Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the anniversary of September 11th attacks on New York, the US consulate in Benghazi was attacked by suspected Libyan Islamists who staged military-style assaults on the mission and a safe-house refuge.

Eight Libyans were killed in the attack along with four Americans including US ambassador Christopher Stevens.

President Barack Obama vowed to "bring to justice" those responsible for the attack, which officials said may have been planned in advance.

The US today sent an elite anti-terrorist team of Marines to boost security in Libya.

Two US destroyers were also moved towards the Libyan coast. Officials said this was designed to extend the options for future military action against Libyan targets.

Security at US posts across the world was being increased today as the protests continued to spread.

Bangladeshi Islamists tried to march on the US embassy in Dhaka and Iranian students protested in Tehran outside the Swiss embassy, which looks after US interests because Washington and Tehran have no diplomatic relations.

The Berlin consulate was evacuated after an employee fell ill after opening a suspicious envelope.

The violence brewing across North Africa and the Middle East is mainly in response to a film entitled the 'Innocence of Muslims' - an amateurish production which mocks the Prophet Mohammad.

In the film Mohammad is depicted as a homosexual, child abuser and womaniser. He is also shown calling a donkey the first Muslim animal.

The origin of the film is unclear, with details of the supposed director - a 56-year-old Israeli real-estate developer from California - named Sam Bacile, varying depending on reports.

However, one actress involved in the filming said the video bore no resemblance to the original filming. She also claimed she was not aware it was about the Prophet Mohammad.

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior QA Engineer - Agile, SCRUM

£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior QA Engineer (Agil...

Marketing Executive - West Midlands - £28,000

£26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Executive (SEO, PP...

Retail Business Analyst

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our retail client ...

Senior C++ Developer

£400 - £450 Per Annum possibly more for the right candidate: Clearwater People...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week