By Abdelmoneim Abu Edris Ali (AFP) – Sep 14, 2012
KHARTOUM — Two protesters were killed in Sudan on Friday as thousands of people demonstrated against a US-made film mocking Islam, attacking the embassies of Britain, Germany and the United States.
Security forces used tear gas against around 5,000 furious demonstrators who stormed the embassies of Britain and Germany, setting the latter mission ablaze, an AFP reporter said.
The building was torched and badly damaged, he said. The German foreign minister said all diplomatic staff were safe.
A medic said one demonstrator was killed when a police vehicle charged a group of stone-throwing protesters as thousands tried to approach the US mission amid a massive security presence.
Guards on the roof of the American embassy fired warning shots as a security perimeter was breached and dozens of Islamic flag-waving protesters scaled an outer wall, an AFP reporter said.
A police vehicle near the embassy was also torched as hundreds of demonstrators broke through the outer security cordon.
A second protester was found dead outside the US embassy, his clothing soaked in blood, the journalist said.
The body was found at the foot of the compound's outer wall, but it was not immediately clear how he had died.
Burning tyres littered the road to the embassy, and some trees alongside were also set alight.
As the demonstrators slowly dispersed, the security forces continued to target small groups of protesters with tear gas, the reporter said.
Police earlier also fired tear gas when several protesters scaled the roof of the German embassy and others attacked its facade, tearing down the flag to replace it with a black Islamist one.
The mob, furious over the film produced in the United States that has triggered deadly violence in other parts of the Arab world, then set fire to the building.
They blocked the road to prevent the arrival of firefighters, prompting security forces to fire more tear gas.
Eventually the firefighters were able to reach the building and extinguish the blaze as the protesters then headed for the American embassy.
The demonstrators -- building up in numbers to an estimated 10,000 -- threw stones after a large number of security forces blocked off roads leading to the US compound, sparking further volleys of tear gas, the AFP journalist said.
"God is greatest" and "Do not touch the Prophet" were among slogans chanted by the demonstrators.
In Berlin, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle condemned the "hate video" mocking the Prophet Mohammed but said it was no excuse for an attack on his country's embassy.
"I condemn the anti-Islamic hate video but still this cannot be a justification for the outbreak of violence," he told reporters. "This violence must stop immediately."
"I understand the outrage in the Islamic world," he said of the amateurish US-made film, which portrays followers of the Islamic faith as immoral and gratuitously violent.
Westerwelle reported that staff at the mission were safe.
Westerwelle said Sudan's ambassador in Berlin had been summoned and "unequivocally reminded of his government's duty to protect diplomatic missions."
In a statement in German and then in English, Westerwelle called the offending video "intolerable" but said it could in no way excuse a siege by "furious people."
He insisted however that the mob that had stormed the diplomatic missions in Khartoum did not represent "the majority of citizens."
Demonstrators also attacked the British embassy nearby, and the Foreign Office in London said it was monitoring the situation.
"We can confirm an ongoing demonstration outside the British embassy in Khartoum, and Sudanese police are at the scene," a Foreign Office spokesman told AFP.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso condemned the attacks on the embassies as unacceptable and against "the rules of the civilised world."
"Nothing justifies these kinds of attacks," he said.
Protests over a trailer for the anti-Islam film on YouTube first broke out on Tuesday in Egypt and Libya, where the US consulate in Benghazi came under attack by an armed mob which killed the US ambassador and three other Americans.
The protests have since spread across other Arab and Muslim countries.
The low-budget movie "Innocence of Muslims," in which actors have strong American accents, portrays Muslims as immoral and gratuitously violent.
It pokes fun at the Prophet Mohammed and touches on themes of paedophilia and homosexuality, while showing him sleeping with women, talking about killing children and referring to a donkey as "the first Muslim animal."
It was not immediately clear why the German embassy was attacked, although Islamists frequently deplore the country's military role in Afghanistan.
Chancellor Angela Merkel also inflamed tempers in September 2010 when she spoke out in defence of a Danish cartoonist whose drawing of the Prophet Mohammed with a bomb for a turban earned him death threats.
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