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Satanic film: Tension mounts as protests spread

By News Express on 13/09/2012

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Tension is mounting in volatile countries prone to religious crises as protests over the anti-Islamic film spread beyond Libya and Egypt. In Nigeria, security agencies have been put at the alert to nip any protest in the bud.

In Tunisia, about 200 protesters turned up at the US Embassy but were dispersed by the police, who fired “teargas and rubber bullets into the air,” according to one report.

In Morocco a crowd of more than 300 gathered near the US Consulate in Casablanca but could not move beyond police barricades.

In Sudan, a few hundred protesters gathered outside the US Embassy in Khartoum. The group calling itself “Sudanese Youth” delivered a list of written demands to staff at the embassy. They demanded “for an immediate apology, removal of the YouTube video” and criticism of Pastor Terry Jones, the American cleric associated with the offensive movie ironically entitled The Innocence of Muslims.

Elsewhere outside Africa, dozens of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip burned American flags and chanted “Death to America” in protest of the film that ridicules Prophet Muhammad. The protest was said to have been sponsored by supporters of the Popular Resistance Committees, a militant group aligned with the ruling Hamas movement.

Protests over the controversial movie had started Tuesday in Libya and then spread to Egypt. Yesterday, things got out of hand when militants infiltrated the crowd of protesters at the US Consulate in Benghazi, killing American Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other American security staff.

Moving swiftly to forestall protests in Nigeria, which has a history of emulating such events, Inspector General of Police (IGP) MD Abubakar yesterday afternoon ordered 24-hour security for all the foreign missions and embassies in the country.

He also warned “potential trouble makers” to stay clear of the streets or face the wrath of the security agencies.

Said Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, in a statement issued on behalf of the IGP: “The IGP has directed all zonal AIGs and command commissioners of police to ensure a 24-hour water-tight security in and around all embassies and foreign missions in Nigeria as well as other vulnerable targets.”

The statement disclosed that assistant inspectors general of police in charge of intelligence and commissioners of police in charge of the various police special squads such as the Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), Police Mobile Force (PMF) and Special Protection Unit (SPU) had been directed to ensure that their personnel are strategically deployed to prevent possible outbreak of any crisis.

*Photo: Nigerian security agencies have been ordered to prevent the protests from spreading to the country.

Source News Express

Posted 13/09/2012 11:11:14 AM

 

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