Sudan Embassies Attack: Protesters Target British, German Embassy In Khartoum

09/14/2012 09:03 am ET | Updated Nov 14, 2012

KHARTOUM, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Sudanese demonstrators incensed by a film that insults the Prophet Mohammad broke into the German embassy in Khartoum on Friday and hoisted an Islamic flag, while one person was killed in protests in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli.

The obscure California-made production had triggered 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, the anniversary of the Sept 11, 2001 al Qaeda attacks on the United States.

Rallies against the film were also staged on Friday in Egypt, Yemen, Afghanistan, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Lebanon, Iran and Iraq.

Protesters clashed with police near the U.S. embassy in Cairo before a nationwide protest called by the Muslim Brotherhood which propelled Egypt's Islamist president Mohamed Mursi to power.

Police in the Sudanese capital fired tear gas to try to disperse 5,000 protesters who had ringed the German embassy and nearby British mission. A Reuters witness said police stood by as a crowd forced its way into Germany's mission.

Demonstrators hoisted a black Islamic flag saying in white letters "there is no God but God and Mohammed is his prophet". They smashed windows, cameras and furniture in the building and then started a fire.

Staff at Germany's embassy were safe "for the moment", Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in Berlin. He also told Khartoum's envoy to Berlin that Sudan must protect diplomatic missions on its soil.

Witnesses said police fired tear gas at thousands of protesters to stop them approaching the U.S. embassy outside Khartoum.

Sudan's Foreign Ministry had 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 depicted the Prophet in 2005 triggering protests across the Islamic world.

BASHIR UNDER PRESSURE

President Omar Hassan al-Bashir is under pressure from Islamists who feel the government has given up the religious values of his 1989 Islamist coup.

The official body of Sudan's Islamic scholars called for the faithful to defend the Prophet peacefully, but at a meeting of Islamists, some leaders had said they would march on the German and U.S. embassies and demanded the ambassadors be expelled.

"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."

Sudan used to host prominent militants in the 1990s, such as Osama bin Laden, but the government has sought to distance itself from radicals to improve ties with the West.

A Lebanese security source said the man was killed in Tripoli as protesters tried to storm a government building.

Earlier, a U.S. fast food restaurant was set alight. Twelve members of the security forces were wounded by stones thrown by protesters, the source said.

The protests coincided with Pope Benedict's arrival in Lebanon for a three-day visit.

WASHINGTON'S DILEMMA

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.

In Nigeria, where radical Islamist sect Boko Haram has killed hundreds this year in an insurgency, the government put police on alert and stepped up security around foreign missions.

U.S. and other Western embassies in other Muslim countries had tightened security, fearing anger at the film may prompt attacks on their compounds after the weekly worship.

The protests present U.S. President Barack Obama with a new foreign policy crisis less than two months before seeking re-election and tests Washington's relations with democratic governments it helped to power across the Arab world.

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.

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.

Protesters in Afghanistan set fire to an effigy of Obama and burned a U.S. flag after Friday prayers in the eastern province of Nangarhar.

Directing their anger against the U.S. pastor who supported the film, tribal leaders in province also agreed to put a $100,000 bounty on his head.

About 10,000 people held a noisy protest in the Bangladeshi capital. They burned U.S. flags, chanted anti-U.S. slogans and demanded punishment for the offenders, but were stopped from marching to the U.S. embassy. There was no violence.

Thousands of Iranians held nationwide protests.

09/15/2012 10:05 PM EDT

Egypt PM: Some Cairo Protesters Paid To Protest

Egypt's Prime Minister Hesham Kandil told CNN that some people involved in the recent protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo were paid to protest. He also said that some were there on their own accord, though.

For more on his comments, click here.

09/15/2012 8:16 PM EDT

Libya President: 'Foreigners' Involved In Attack

Both Libyans and "foreigners" carried out the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, said Libyan President Mohamed Magariaf.

"We have assumptions and we have some information, and all that information we have now leads to the same direction about the perpetrators, the criminals," he told NBC.

For more on Magariaf's comments, click here.

09/15/2012 7:58 PM EDT

More Details Of Libya Attack Emerge

A local security official walked CNN through the horrific attacks in Libya that left U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens dead. Read the report here.

09/15/2012 7:32 PM EDT

Senior Libya Official Tells CNN: No Evidence That Attack Was Pre-Planned

@ JomanaCNN :

One senior official just told me they have no evidence yet to support President's statements that attack was pre-planned. #Libya

09/15/2012 7:24 PM EDT

U.S. Issues Warnings For Sudan, Tunisia

From the AP:

WASHINGTON — The State Department on Saturday ordered the departure of all family members and non-essential U.S. government personnel from posts in Sudan and Tunisia and is issuing travel warnings to American citizens in the two countries due to security concerns over anti-American violence.

"Given the security situation in Tunis and Khartoum, the State Department has ordered the departure of all family members and non-emergency personnel from both posts, and issued parallel travel warnings to American citizens," said Victoria Nuland, a department spokeswoman.

To read more, click here.

09/15/2012 7:19 PM EDT

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula

anti islam film

In this image from video provided by CBS2-KCAL9, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the man behind the anti-Muslim movie that has inflamed the Middle East, is escorted by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies from his home, early Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012, in Cerritos, Calif. Nakoula, 55, was interviewed by federal probation officers at a Los Angeles sheriff's station but was not arrested or detained, authorities said early Saturday. (AP Photo/CBS2-KCAL9)

09/15/2012 5:10 PM EDT

Image Purportedly Shows Camp Bastion

camp bastion

This image from AP video obtained from the SITE Intel Group posted by al-Emarah Jihadi Studio, an Afghan Taliban media unit who released two clips on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012, purports to show smoke rising over Camp Bastion in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, after what the Taliban media unit says is an attack at the base. (AP Photo/SITE Intelligence Group)

09/15/2012 5:03 PM EDT

Far-Right Group Trying To Screen Anti-Islam Film

According to an AFP report, a far-right group in Germany wants to screen 'Innocence of Muslims,' the film that sparked protests around the world, in Berlin.

German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich told Der Spiegel he would use every legal means at his disposal to stop them.

“Such groups and organizations only want to provoke Germany’s Muslims,” he said, accusing them of recklessly pouring oil on the fire.

Read the full story here.

09/15/2012 4:36 PM EDT

Libyan President Meets U.S. Consulate Guard

libya attack

President Mohammed el-Megarif, fourth right, meets an unidentified Libyan guard of the U.S. Consulate who was wounded following the deadly attack on September 11, 2012, at Benghazi Medical Center in Benghazi, Libya, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. (AP Photo)

09/15/2012 4:30 PM EDT

'Un-Islamic' Attacks

Saudi Arabia's highest religious authority on Saturday condemned the attacks on U.S. embassies as un-Islamic, according to a report by Reuters.

"It is forbidden to punish the innocent for the wicked crimes of the guilty, or to attack those who have been granted protection of their lives and property, or to expose public buildings to fire or destruction," he said in a speech carried by state news agency SPA.

Read the full report here.

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