Anti-U.S. protests over anti-Muslim film spread
A provocative U.S.-made video that is offensive to Muslims led to more protests and violence in Asia Tuesday, including the deaths of 12 people in a suicide bombing.
In Indian-controlled Kashmir, soldiers and protesters clashed in the streets in the main city of Srinagar. A strike closed down businesses and public transportation, and demonstrators burned U.S. flags and an effigy of U.S. President Barack Obama.
Police used tear gas and batons to disperse demonstrators, who later regrouped and hurled rocks at soldiers, a police officer said.
In Kabul, Afghanistan, a suicide bomber killed at least 12 people when a car with explosives rammed into a mini-bus carrying South African aviation workers. An Islamic militant group claimed the attack was staged in revenge for the film.
In the city of Peshawar in northwestern Pakistan, hundreds of demonstrators broke through a barricade at the U.S. consulate. While the demonstrators threw bricks and flaming pieces of clothing, police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets, leaving several people injured. The protest was organized by the youth wing of the hardline Jamaat-e-Islami party.
About 400 protesters held a peaceful demonstration in front of the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand. Facing about 700 police officers, the demonstrators held up banners that read "We love Prophet Muhammad" and "Stop insulting our religion." They also chanted "Down with America" and "Down with Israel."
A small rally of about 200 people in Indonesia's third-largest city of Medan saw people unfurl banners saying, "Go to hell America." They also demanded that the United States punish the makers of the film, called Innocence of Muslims.
While protests against the film in Egypt and Tunisia have died down, an al-Qaeda linked group in North Africa called for attacks on U.S. diplomats and renewed demonstrations.
The group, Al-Qaeda in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb, threatened attacks in Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and Mauritania, and praised the killing of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens last week in the city of Benghazi.
The film, which is highly provocative and offensive to Muslims, began circulating on the internet last week.
With files from The Associated Press