'Innocence of Muslims' protests: Anger continues to rage in Muslim world
Updated: September 17, 2012 - 06:28 pm
As anti-American anger continues across the Muslim world, Americans are being evacuated and taken out of harm's way.
“The president has been very clear. The protection of American personnel and facilities is and will remain our top priority," said U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, during an interview on ABC’s “This Week” program.
In Pakistan, police fired tear gas and cannons on protestors who broke through a barricade on the way to the U.S. consulate. Protestors took to the streets of Kabul, Afghanistan on Monday morning.
The violence turned deadly again—in what is being called a well-planned and well-executed attack. Four American troops were killed by Afghan soldiers they believed were their allies. Fifteen Taliban fighters wearing American uniforms blew a hole through the outer wall of a military base and stormed inside with automatic rifles and grenade launchers.
An International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) spokesman says afghan officials did a re-vetting of their troops and have already removed a couple of hundreds men from duty, while this is seen as a big set-back. NATO still believes their work in the country is still on track.
“When you talk to our guys out in the field what they tell you is the longer we work with our Afghan partners together the more confidence we have in them and the more we trust them and again we don’t see that our campaign is in jeopardy, we consider it on track,” said ISAF Spokesman Gunter Katz, on “This Week.”
In a rare public appearance, the leader of the militant Hezbollah group exhorted hundreds of thousands of supporters Monday to keep up the campaign against an anti-Islam video that has unleashed deadly violence and anger at the United States across the Muslim world.
Although the massive, well-organized rally in Beirut was peaceful, protesters in Afghanistan set fires near a U.S. military base, clashed with police in Pakistan, where one demonstrator was killed, and battled with officers outside the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country.
The turmoil surrounding the low-budget video that mocks the Prophet Muhammad showed no sign of ebbing in the week after protesters first swarmed the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. Four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, died amid a demonstration in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi.
At least 10 protesters have died in the riots, and the targeting of Western diplomatic sites has forced Washington to increase security in several countries. Diplomats at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut destroyed classified material as a security precaution, according to a State Department status report.
The appeal for sustained protests by Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Lebanon's powerful Hezbollah group, could stoke more fury over the video, "Innocence of Muslims." Nasrallah has rarely been seen in public since his group battled Israel in a month-long war in 2006, fearing Israeli assassination. Since then, he has communicated with his followers and gives news conference mostly via satellite link.
He spoke for about 15 minutes before a rapturous crowd estimated by police at about 500,000, many with headbands of green and yellow - the colors of Hezbollah - and the words "at your service God's prophet" written on them.
Nasrallah, who last appeared in public in December 2011 to mark the Shiite holy day of Ashoura, warned of serious repercussions if the U.S. does not ban the film and have it removed from the Internet.
"The world should know that our anger is not a passing thing. ... This is the start of a serious campaign that must continue all over the Muslim world in defense of the prophet of God," he said to roars of support.
"As long as there's blood in us, we will not remain silent over insults against our prophet," Nasrallah said, calling for a series of demonstrations this week to denounce the video.
Would you like to contribute to this story? Join the discussion.