Wednesday, September 12, 2012

News from around the world - 1

Most of us probably spent some of the day remembering that fateful one in 2001. I can recall with extreme clarity what I did all day in what order. However, some people took a slightly unorthodox way of remembering.

In Cairo the anniversary was remembered by a group of, one assumes Islamist extremists and quite possibly Muslim Brotherhood supporters, storming the US embassy, tearing down the flag and burning it. It seems that they were protesting about a film that has been produced by a group of US-based Coptic Christians who, one assumes, escaped from the growing anti-Coptic violence in Egypt. It is said that the film "demeans Islam and the Prophet Mohammed". Whereas completely insane behaviour supposedly in Islam's name does not demean it, I suppose.
Many of the more Islamist-leaning protesters had answered calls by Salafist leader Wesam Abdel-Wareth – who is also the president of Egypt's ultra-conservative Al-Hekma television channel – to protest the film 'Mohammed's trial' at 5pm outside the US embassy in Cairo's Garden City district. 
Abdel-Wareth, for his part, denied that protesters had managed to breach embassy premises, claiming that the American flag had been torched in front – rather than inside – embassy grounds. 
The Al-Hekma channel's official Facebook page, meanwhile, has posted a photo of a group of young men removing the flag outside the embassy with a comment that reads: "Ultras Zamalek tear the American flag in front of the embassy." 
US embassy spokesman David Linfield, for his part, confirmed that protesters had been able to enter the embassy and remove the flag. He went on to deny rumours, however, that shots had been fired at demonstrators or that anyone had been injured or killed. 
According to one Ahram Online reporter at the scene, no one had been injured in the ongoing demonstration. Despite the tense atmosphere, security forces deployed at the scene appeared relatively relaxed, with many of them sitting on the sidewalk.
Right, that's Egypt. Then there is the other great example of the Arab Spring, Libya. Remember Libya? The country that would probably be still under Gaddafi's rule if it weren't for NATO forces, specifically American, British and French ones?

Well they had an anti-American riot as well. This one seems to have been a little more serious.
Militiamen in Libya have stormed the US consulate in Benghazi, the country's second largest city. 
Reports say they were protesting against a US-made film that is allegedly insulting to the Prophet Muhammad, and set fire to the building. 
The building is said to have burnt down. It is thought nobody was in the consulate at the time.
Reuters says that
Gunmen attacked U.S. consulate offices in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi on Tuesday, and fought with security forces in protest against a U.S. film they say is blasphemous, a security official said.
He said a fire was burning inside the consulate and that staff had been evacuated.
A Reuters reporter saw three injured members of the Libyan security forces taken away in an ambulance. A Libyan security official who declined to be named said one U.S. security guard was injured in the clashes.
AFP reports that one American was killed and one injured. The latest Reuters report confirms this adding that several staff in the Consulate have been injured.
Reuters reporters on the scene could see looters raiding the empty Benghazi compound, walking off with desks, chairs and washing machines.
Unknown gunmen were shooting at the buildings while others threw handmade bombs into the compound, setting off small explosions.
Small fires were burning around the compound.
Passersby entered the unsecured compound to take pictures with their mobile phones and watch the looting.
Never let a good riot go to waste, say I, but use it to furnish your home. 

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