Arrests in Benghazi over U.S. consulate attack as Islamic world rises against Mohammed film
Benghazi (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Libyan authorities have arrested several people suspected of having instigated and participated in the assault and burning of the U.S. consulate. The U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens and three members of his staff, as well as 10 Libyan guards were killed in the attack. Meanwhile, demonstrations against the blasphemous film about Muhammad have spread like wildfire across the Islamic world. Governments ask for the film to be blocked, but also condemn the violence against U.S. targets.
The Libyan Prime Minister Mustafa Abu Shaqur says that investigations into the attack on the consulate are making progress. Those arrested have been interrogated. The most likely hypothesis is that the demonstration against the film was engineered specifically to prepare the attack. It is thought that the authors are well-armed militants, although no one has yet officially claimed responsibility for the terrorist act. Some experts believe it was terrorists linked to al Qaeda in Pakistan and North Africa. Others suggest the hand of those still loyal to Gaddafi.
In the U.S. embassies around the world have been put under tight security, after thousands of demonstrators managed to storm the walls and burn the American flag of the consulates in Egypt and Yemen.
In Sanaa (Yemen), in clashes with security forces, there were four dead and 34 injured.
In Egypt a crowd of thousands of people stationed along the road leading to the embassy for three days and yesterday clashed with the police. At least 224 people were injured in the clashes, some police cars were torched and 23 protesters were arrested.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has accused the Americans and Zionists of making "mad and hateful" the anti-Islam film and a group of students demonstrated outside the Swiss embassy, which mediates U.S. interests in Iran.
In Iraq, thousands of supporters of Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr marched in Baghdad, Najaf and Kirkuk, threatening to endanger American interests in the country.
In Kuwait at least 200 people demonstrated outside the U.S. embassy carrying banners with messages like: "USA, stop the bull ..... Respect" (see photo).
In Nigeria, the police are on alert and strengthened security around foreign embassies. In Bangladesh, thousands of people wanted to get to the U.S. Embassy, but were stopped by the army.
In Gaza, thousands of Palestinians marched demanding an apology from the U.S. for the offense to Muhammad.
In Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia, governments have asked Google to block the viewing of clips from the movie posted on Youtube.
In every Islamic country a new wave of demonstrations are expected for today, a day of prayer in the mosques.
Several governments, while condemning the provocation of the film, also condemned the Islamist violence. Saudi Arabia has condemned the production of the film by an American Jew as "irresponsible", but also deplored "the violent reactions in various countries against American interests."
The Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, currently in Brussels, denounced "assault or insult against our prophet," but also unreservedly condemned the violent attacks. The Muslim Brotherhood has launched a non-violent demonstration today in front of all the great mosques of Egypt, also inviting the Coptic Christians.
In Libya, demonstrations took place yesterday of people who condemned the violent attack on the U.S. consulate.