IGP, Mohammed Abubakar
Yemi Adebowale; John Shiklam; Seriki Adinoyi and Ibrahim Shuaibu
Fury about a film that insults the Prophet Mohammad conti-nued across the Middle East and north Africa yesterday after Friday jumat prayers with protesters attacking United States embassies and burning American flags, while the U.S. government rushed to bolster security at its missions.
In Nigeria, protest against the film took place in Jos after Friday prayers in mosques, but was quickly put down by security agents. There were also fears of protests in Kaduna and Kano, as people stayed indoors for most of the day.
The obscure California-made film triggered an attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya's city of Benghazi that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans on Tuesday, the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 al Qaeda attacks on the United States.
In Tunis, at least three people were killed and more than two dozen wounded, after police opened fire on protesters near the U.S. embassy in the city that was the cradle of last year's Arab Spring uprisings for democracy.
At least one person died in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, a doctor said, after some of thousands of protesters had leaped into the U.S. embassy.
About 50 U.S. marines landed in Yemen yesterday, a day after the U.S. embassy there was stormed. For a second day in the capital Sanaa, police battled hundreds of young men around the mission.
In Khartoum, wider anger at Western attitudes to Islam also saw the German embassy overrun, with police doing little to stop demonstrators who raised a black Islamist flag.
Protesters clashed with police near the U.S. embassy in Cairo. Two Islamist preachers in Egypt told worshippers that those who made the movie deserved to die under Islamic law but they urged protesters not to take their anger out on diplomats.
In the restive Sinai Peninsula, militants opened fire on an international observer base near El Gorah, close to the borders of Israel and the Gaza Strip, and burned tires blocking a road to the camp, a witness and a security source reported. The source said two members of the force were wounded.
The wave of indignation and rage over the film, which portrays Mohammed as a womaniser and a fool, coincided with Pope Benedict's arrival in Lebanon for a three-day visit.
The protests present U.S. President Barack Obama with a new foreign policy crisis less than two months before seeking re-election and tests Washington's relations with democratic governments it helped to power across the Arab world.
He was at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington to greet a flight bringing home remains of the four dead from Benghazi.
It also emerged that Libya had closed its airspace over the second city's airport for a time because of heavy anti-aircraft fire by Islamists aiming at U.S. reconnaissance drones flying over the city; Obama vowed to bring the ambassador's killers to justice.
The closure of the airport prompted speculation that the United States was deploying Special Forces in preparation for an attack against the militants who were involved in the attack.
A Libyan official said the spy planes flew over the embassy compound and the city, taking photos and inspecting locations of radical militant groups who are believed to have planned and staged the attack on the U.S. consulate.
U.S. and other Western embassies in other Muslim countries had tightened security; fearing anger at the film may prompt attacks on their compounds after the weekly worship.
Obama has promised to bring those responsible for the Benghazi attack to justice, and the United States also sent warships towards Libya which one official said was to give flexibility for any future action.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington had nothing to do with the crudely made film posted on the Internet, which she called "disgusting and reprehensible."
In Jos, the sporadic shots fired to disperse protesters who took to the streets after the Juma’at prayers forced residents, who were already apprehensive, to remain indoors while business premises were shut.
It was gathered that the Muslim Brotherhood and World Association of Muslim Youths (WAMY) had asked Muslims to protest in Jos over the anti-Islamic film.
Tension was high in Kaduna amidst tight security as shops and offices were deserted following rumours of a planned protest by Muslims.
For most of yesterday, the city centres, particularly, the busy Ahmadu Bello Way, Kano Road, the Central Market and Lagos Street were deserted for fear of the unknown.
In Kano, security was beefed up with the deployment of more armed personnel on the. Armed soldiers were seen in strategic locations in patrol vehicles and combat outfits.