Hundreds of Afghans staged a violent protest in Kabul on Monday against an American film mocking the Prophet Mohammed, as demos erupted in Indonesia and in Pakistan, where two protesters were killed.
The demonstration erupted on Afghanistan's Jalalabad Road, home to NATO and U.S. military bases in the eastern part of the Afghan capital, with two police cars among those set ablaze, Kabul police chief Mohammed Ayoub Salangi told AFP.
Meanwhile, in Pakistan a protester was killed in an exchange of fire with police during a demonstration in northwest of the country, officials said.
Another demonstrator died on Monday afternoon after being shot in the head during clashes with police near the U.S. consulate in Karachi on Sunday, a hospital official said.
Two people were wounded in the incident in Warai, in the Upper Dir district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, police said, adding a crowd of about 800 had set fire to a police station, a magistrate’s house and the local press club.
A low-budget trailer for a movie entitled ‘Innocence of Muslims,’ believed to have been produced by a small group of extremist Christians in the United States, has sparked furious anti-American protests across the Islamic world.
In Afghanistan, gunmen from the crowd -- which Salangi said numbered around 1,000 -- opened fire at police, but no one was hurt and Salangi said he had told officers not to return fire in a bid to avoid escalating the violence.
Afghanistan has a history of street protests turning violent, particularly over perceived insults to Islam, but until Monday isolated protests over the film were calm.
Riots triggered over the accidental burning of copies of the Quran, Islam’s holy book, earlier this year at a U.S. base killed around 40 people.
Meanwhile, protesters hurled petrol bombs and clashed with Indonesian police outside the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta on Monday, as demonstrations in the world’s most populous Muslim nation turned violent.
Hundreds of people in Indonesia protested on Friday and Saturday against a low-budget film insulting to Muslims, but they had been largely peaceful.
That changed as demonstrators lobbed petrol bombs and shouted anti-American slogans. Police responded with bursts of water cannon and fired warning shots into the air to disperse about 700 protesters.
Many of them were supporters of hardline Islamic groups and were dressed in identical white Muslim garb, an AFP reporter saw.
Several hundred police in riot gear and at least two armored vehicles guarded the embassy, together with a pair of water cannon and a fire engine.
Heavily armed Taliban fighters on Friday stormed a strongly fortified air base in Helmand province where Britain’s Prince Harry is deployed, killing two U.S. Marines in an assault the militia said was to avenge the anti-Islam video.
Six U.S. fighter jets, costing tens of millions of dollars, and three refueling stations were destroyed, clocking up unprecedented material losses for the Western military in Afghanistan where they have been fighting for 10 years against insurgents.
A total of 17 people have died in violence linked to the film, including four Americans killed in Benghazi, 11 protesters who died as police battled to defend U.S. missions from mobs in Egypt, Lebanon, Sudan, Tunisia and Yemen, and the two U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.