Wave of protests continue against anti-Islam film (+video)
Protests outside US embassies in Afghanistan and Indonesia turned violent this weekend, as protesters in Pakistan burned a press club and a government building, all in response to a low-budget film that mocks Islam's Prophet Muhammed.
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The rallies will continue "until the people who made the film go to trial," said one of the protesters, Wahidullah Hotak.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures Anger across the Muslim world
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A number of Afghan religious leaders urged calm.
"Our responsibility is to show a peaceful reaction, to hold peaceful protests. Do not harm people, their property or public property," said Karimullah Saqib, a cleric in Kabul.
The Afghan government has blocked video-sharing website YouTube to prevent Afghans from viewing a clip of the anti-Muslimfilm. Officials have said it will remain blocked until the video is taken down. Other Google services, including Gmail, were also blocked in Afghanistan during much of the weekend and access continued to be denied on some providers Monday.
In Jakarta, hundreds of Indonesians angered over the film clashed with police outside the U.S. Embassy, hurling rocks and firebombs and setting tires alight outside the mission, marking the first violence seen in the world's most populous Muslim country since international outrage over the film exploded last week.
At least 10 police were rushed to the hospital after being pelted with rocks and attacked with bamboo sticks, said JakartaPolice Chief Maj. Gen. Untung Rajad. He said four protesters were arrested and one was hospitalized.
Demonstrators burned a picture of President Barack Obama and also tried to ignite a fire truck parked outside the embassyafter ripping a water hose off the vehicle and torching it, sending plumes of black smoke billowing into the sky. Police used a bullhorn to appeal for calm and deployed water cannons and tear gas to try to disperse the crowd as the protesters shouted "Allah Akbar," or God is great.
"We will destroy America like this flag!" a protester screamed while burning a U.S. flag. "We will chase away the American ambassador from the country!"
Demonstrations were also held Monday in the Indonesian cities of Medan and Bandung. Over the weekend in the central Java town of Solo, protesters stormed KFC and McDonald's restaurants, forcing customers to leave and management to close the stores.
The wave of international violence began last Tuesday when mainly Islamist protesters climbed the U.S. Embassy walls in the Egyptian capital of Cairo and tore down the American flag from a pole in the courtyard.
The U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, was killed Tuesday along with three other Americans, as violent protestersstormed the consulate in Benghazi. Protesters have also stormed the U.S. Embassies in Tunis and Yemen and heldviolent demonstrations outside other posts.
Associated Press writers Heidi Vogt in Kabul, Matiullah Achakzai in Chaman, Pakistan, Sherin Zada in Mingora, Pakistan, Riaz Khan in Peshawar, Pakistan, and Niniek Karmini in Jakarta, Indonesia, contributed to this report.