Anti-American protests grip Middle East and beyond


Yemeni protesters try to break through the gate of the US embassy in Sanaa during a protest over a film mocking Islam on September 13, 2012. Yemeni forces managed to drive out angry protesters who stormed the embassy in the Yemeni capital with police firing warning shots to disperse thousands of people as they approached the main gate of the mission.


Mohammed Huwais

Protest activity over anti-Islam footage produced in the United States swelled today, with reports of unrest in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Israel, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Bahrain, Qatar, India's Kashmir, Bangladesh, Indonesia and the UK.

Photos showed clouds of smoke outside the US embassy in the Tunisian capital, Tunis, where Reuters reported that protesters had set fire to trees within the embassy compound, and to a nearby American school. A Reuters reporter said the school was closed at the time. 

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood earlier called for a "Million Man March" against the video today, but reportedly canceled the event an hour beforehand — a move that may have been a bid to mollify the US as protests take an overwhelmingly anti-American tone.

Hundreds nonetheless turned out outside the US embassy in Cairo today, leading to skirmishes with security forces, according to the Associated Press.

More from GlobalPost: Clinton: anti-Islam video is 'disgusting’ but does not justify violence

Violence also continues to grip Yemen, with reports today that the US has deployed their elite Marine forces to the North African country as police resort to using water cannons and warning gunfire in a bid to calm protesters in Sanaa. The unrest comes a day after angry demonstrators stormed the US embassy there, leading to clashes believed to have killed four people, said Bloomberg

Also today, massive protests over the film shook Asia with reports of some 15,000 marching against the film in India's Kashmir, said AP, many of them yelling, "Down with America" and "Down with Israel!" 

Similar slogans were also reportedly being shouted by protesters in Iran, said the Los Angeles Times, while hundreds took to the streets in Afghanistan's eastern city of Jalalabad, according to AP

The first protests were also reported in Europe, with the BBC describing a crowd of around 200 people burning American and Israeli flags outside the US embassy in the British capital, London. 

Meanwhile European missions were themselves the targets of attacks. Both Britain and Germany's embassies in Sudan were stormed by protesters bearing black Islamic flags.

More from GlobalPost: Anti-US protests are about much more than a film

The United States is struggling to respond to the wave of anti-American sentiment over the offending video, with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday condemning the footage as "disgusting" and distancing the US government from its production. US consulates worldwide are on high alert. 

Protests over video from the allegedly forthcoming "Innocence of Muslims" film, available online with Arabic subtitles as of September 4, are a part of growing Muslim outrage over its anti-Islamic content.

The California-produced video first prompted a protest in Libya on Tuesday that may be tied to an attack on the US embassy responsible for the deaths of four people, including the US ambassador. 

Demonstrations are spreading, with hundreds of people reportedly rioting violently against the film in Jerusalem, according to Ynet, while protest activity in Lebanon today killed at least one person — violence that comes amid the arrival of the Roman Catholic leader there.

Protests were also reportedly seen today in Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, Bangladesh, and Indonesia, said The Guardian, as well as Iraq and Malaysia, according to Reuters

For the latest developments, follow GlobalPost's live blog. Check out the map below to see all the places the protests have spread.