Region | Egypt

Taliban link Afghanistan attack to anti-Islam film

Afghanistan's Taliban claimed responsibility on Saturday for an attack on a base which U.S. officials said killed two American Marines, saying it was in response to a film that insults the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)

  • Agencies
  • Published: 20:35 September 14, 2012

  • Image Credit: AP
  • Islamic supporters burn a US flag outside the US Embassy in London during a protest against the US made anti-Muslim film purportedly denigrating the Prophet Mohammad, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012.
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Kabul: Afghanistan's Taliban claimed responsibility on Saturday for an attack on a base which U.S. officials said killed two American Marines, saying it was in response to a film that insults the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

Camp Bastion, in southern Helmand province, came under mortar, rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire late on Friday.

The assault also wounded several servicemen.

"The aim of this attack was revenge against Americans for the anti-Prophet movie," said Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf.

U.S. President Barack Obama has vowed to "stand fast" against violence which has been spreading since the amateurish film of obscure origin triggered an attack on the U.S. consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi that killed the ambassador and three other Americans on September 11.

Britain's Prince Harry was at Camp Bastion at the time of the attack, but was unharmed.

Earlier this week, the Afghan Taliban said they were doing everything in their power to either kill or kidnap Queen Elizabeth's grandson in what they dubbed their "Harry Operations."

"Prince Harry was never in any danger," Martyn Crighton, a spokesman for the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), said, adding that it would investigate whether his presence on the base had motivated the attack.

ISAF has not confirmed the nationality of the two people killed in the attack on the base.

A spokesman for the Helmand governor said 17 bodies had been discovered and they were all thought to be insurgents killed in the fighting.

Crowds whipped into a fury across Muslim world

Khartoum: Anti-US protests by crowds whipped into fury by a film that mocks Islam erupted across the Muslim world on Friday, as violence exploded in Sudan, Lebanon and Yemen leaving three people dead and dozens wounded.

The protests broke out when Muslims emerged from mosques following the Friday main prayers to voice their anger at the film made in the United States.

In Khartoum, guards on the roof of the US embassy fired warning shots as a security perimeter was breached by dozens of Islamic flag-waving protesters, part of a crowd of thousands who had earlier stormed the British embassy and set fire to the German mission, an AFP reporter said.

A police vehicle near the embassy was also torched as hundreds of demonstrators broke through an outer security cordon after one protester was hit by a police vehicle and killed, a medic and the reporter said. A little later, a second protester was found dead outside the US embassy in Sudan, his clothing soaked in blood.

Police had earlier fired volleys of tear gas in a bid to prevent the 10,000-strong crowd marching on the US embassy after they had swarmed over the German mission, attacking its facade and tearing down the flag to replace it with a black Islamist one before torching the building.

Violence also erupted in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, where a crowd of 300 Islamists attacked and set fire to a KFC restaurant, sparking clashes with police in which one person died and 25 were injured, sources said.

The attack on the US fast-food chain’s outlet came as Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Lebanon for a three-day visit, calling for Christian-Muslim coexistence and attacking religious extremism.

With tempers boiling across the Muslim world over the movie since the US ambassador to Libya was killed in an attack on an American consulate in Benghazi on Tuesday, the Pentagon said it has sent a team of Marines to Yemen.

The announcement came as tension spiralled again in Yemen’s capital Sana’a, with security forces firing warning shots and water cannon to disperse crowds of protesters trying to reach the US embassy.

Yemeni security forces blocked all roads to the mission, after similar confrontations left four people dead on Thursday, an AFP reporter said.

With much of the anger directed at the United States, where the film was made reportedly by a Coptic Christian and promoted by a rightwing pastor, Washington had earlier ordered security boosted at its embassies worldwide.

In Cairo, where the first protests against the film broke out on Tuesday, protesters again clashed with police outside the US embassy, although calm returned later after the Muslim Brotherhood withdrew a call for nationwide demonstrations, saying it wanted to avoid loss of life and damage to property.

Instead of the tens of thousands who had been expected to take to the streets of the capital, a few hundred protesters carrying banners and Islamic flags walked around Tahrir Square, the epicentre of Egyptian protests.

The Brotherhood’s about-turn came after Egyptian President Mohammad Mursi said during a visit to Rome on Friday that the film is an “aggression” on Islam that distracts from the real problems of the Middle East.

In Iran, meanwhile, thousands of people yelling “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” rallied in central Tehran.

State television showed the crowd streaming out after Friday prayers at Tehran University in which a hardline cleric, Ayatollah Ahmad Janati, blamed the United States for the crude film, “Innocence of Muslims,” in which actors have strong American accents, which portrays Muslims as immoral and gratuitously violent.

“It is a wonder how those running a country claiming to be a superpower become so stupid in taking such actions,” he said. “In their recent lunacy, they have made a movie - whose finances are said to be paid by the Zionists - to insult the prophet,” he said.
The crowd responded by chanting “Death to America.”

In Tunis, police fired tear gas and warning shots as more than 1,000 stone-throwing protesters gathered outside the US embassy. A thick black plume of smoke was seen rising from the embassy car park, with a policeman telling AFP that some demonstrators had thrown petrol bombs.

Protests have spread across the Middle East and further afield, including to Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Kashmir, Pakistan, Iraq, Israel and the Gaza Strip and Kuwait.

Violence also erupted in Asia, with police saying 86 people were arrested after attacking the US consulate in the Indian city of Chennai.

In Kabul, hundreds of Afghan protesters took to the streets, setting fire to an effigy of US President Barack Obama and demanding the death of the film-maker.

US and Libyan officials, meanwhile, are probing Tuesday’s attack on the consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi that killed the ambassador and three other US officials, amid growing speculation it was the work of extremist militants rather than just demonstrators.

Two of the four Americans killed in the assault were former members of the elite Navy SEALs officials identified as Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. The harrowing attack also left Ambassador Chris Stevens and Sean Smith, an information management officer, dead.

Washington sought to keep a lid on the demonstrations by spelling out that the controversial film that set off the violence was made privately by a small group of individuals with no official backing.

The self-proclaimed producer of the film is Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a 55-year-old Copt living in California. It was promoted on the websites of two other Americans, extremist Christian pastor Terry Jones and another Copt, Washington-based lawyer Morris Sadek.

Nakoula told American Arabic-language Radio Sawa that he had no regrets about making the film. “No, I do not regret it. I am saddened by the killing of the ambassador but I do not regret making it,” he said on Thursday.

Comments (11)

  1. Added 14:07 September 15, 2012

    Now an anti-Muhammad (SAW) video has been made to hurt the sentiments of the muslims.Muslims are protesting and they have every right to do so.My question is that why do muslims respond in such a way as if it is something new.Why do they forget about the likes of Abu Lahab,Abu Jahal,Musaylima, and others.This has been going on since the time Muhammad(SAW) came to this world and will continue till the time there r people who lack all reason. Those who made this film may be thinking that they have hurt us but they must know that their evil acts do not have any effects on the true and sincere Muslims coz' whatever the case Muhammad (SAW)'s life is like an open book for all to see and whatever analyses r done Muhammad (SAW) still emerges as a man whose every act perfectly conforms to the rules of REASON and the demands of his time and whose every action sets up the bases for the solutions to the problems of future which is why Islam is a universal religion. My quote ," Do whatever you can can, Muhammad(SAW) is still the perfect man .

    Muhammad, Sydney, Australia

  2. Added 12:59 September 15, 2012

    I agree with all the comments below, except how can you say "shame on America"? First of all the Americas are a collection of two continents, but for arguments sake I will assume you mean the USA. But it is beyond me that you can say shame on a country with a population of over 300 million people, because of a film made by perhaps 10 people at the most. This kind of irrational thought process is dangerous. I cannot condemn the film enough, it is appalling that anyone can produce such a hateful and judgemental video, but it does not justify the violence that has been evident in so many cities. Do people really think that the killing of men who knew nothing more about the video than their murderers is virtuous? I do not argue against peaceful protests, protests with the aim to see those involved in the production of the video face justice, by appearing before court for a fair and balanced trial.

    Micahel, Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom

  3. Added 12:49 September 15, 2012

    The video has to be condemned for sure. But people fail to realize that the video was made by an Egyptian national NOT an American. In the United States, there is total freedom of speech( which is not very good at times) So a movie does not require a government sanction to be released and shown in theaters. Anybody can make any kind of movie and government does not have anything to do with it. It is totally unfortunate that Americans are being targetted for a stupid film that a non American made. It seems to me that people are just waiting for an opportunity to attack the US and they do not need a valid reason for it these days. I strongly condemn the video and the killing of Americans who had NOTHING to do with it.

    Salma, Los Angeles, United States

  4. Added 12:41 September 15, 2012

    We all muslims condemn this freedom of insulting other religions. Non-muslim should take care when they speak or act against muslim belives.

    TARIQ NOOR, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 12:35 September 15, 2012

    Why shouldn't we bother? Have we lost the sense of Love for our religion? I dont support the killing of others but we have all the right to protest. We love our Prophet Muhammed (Peace Be Upon Him)

    Ab, Dxb, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 11:09 September 15, 2012

    We strongly condemn this video. This is completly un-acceptable. I request UAE goverment to block this video in UAE.

    Naveed Shahzad, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 11:08 September 15, 2012

    We all muslims should condemn this freedom of insulting other religions by some. They dont understand the level of our Prophet (Peace be upon him). Please do ihtijaj [protest] in a peaceful manner.

    Shaikh Shahnawaz, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 10:59 September 15, 2012

    Any great religion is greater then any insult.. If your faith is strong why even bother about this man who made a movie? ... asking death to someone is not in our human hands we must not decide who should live or who shall die because they made a movie.. If that film director has issues or has opinions , keep to himself or better just ignore that guy and move on with your lives..

    Nina, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 10:39 September 15, 2012

    Yes, insulting the Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon him) is wrong. Also, causing damage and indulging in violent activities is wrong. We as Muslims need to find the voice of reason. This does not help anyone.

    Ameena, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 10:33 September 15, 2012

    This is not helping.. I do understand the feelings of our muslim brothers.. I am a Christian but I am not against to any religions.. I do believe that we can serve God in our own ways no matter what religion.. Let's just pray for this guy who made the film, that he may realize that what he did is wrong. and he have no right judge everyone. Only God can judge. so much death now. I hope our brothers will just ignore this man and just pray for his poor soul. this chaos may spread through out the world.. :(

    unknown, Deira Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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