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HOUSE OF THE WEEK

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Islamic Militants Urge More Attacks On U.S. Targets


KABUL, Afghanistan -- Islamic militants sought Tuesday to capitalize on anger over an anti-Islam video that was produced in the U.S., saying a suicide bombing that killed 12 people in Afghanistan was revenge for the film and calling for attacks on U.S. diplomats and facilities in north Africa.
The attempt by extremists across the region to harness Muslim fury over a film that denigrates the prophet Muhammad posed new concern for the U.S., whose embassies and consulates were targeted, and in some cases breached, during riots and protests over the past week.
In seven countries at least 28 people have died in violence linked to the film, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans killed in a Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The death toll counts 12 protesters who were killed in riots last week.
Some officials in Libya said militants planned the attack on the consulate in advance. However, the White House said Tuesday the assault appeared to have been sparked by anger regarding the film, though the investigation continues.
The uproar over the video, "Innocence of Muslims," which was made by an Egyptian-born American citizen and posted on YouTube, reflects seemingly intractable tension between Western principles of free speech and Islamic beliefs that brook no insult directed at the prophet.
Tuesday's attack in Kabul, the Afghan capital, was carried out by a suicide bomber who rammed a car packed with explosives into a mini-bus carrying foreign aviation workers to the airport. At least 12 people died.
Also, al-Qaida's branch in north Africa called for attacks on U.S. diplomats and an escalation of protests against the anti-Islam film.
Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula recently issued a similar call for attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities. It is al-Qaida's most active branch in the Middle East.
In Tunisia, Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem pledged to bring to justice those behind protests at the U.S. Embassy in Tunis in which cars were burned and classrooms at a nearby American school were trashed and looted.
In Pakistan, hundreds of angry protesters broke through a barricade outside the U.S. Consulate in the northwest city Peshawar, sparking clashes with police that left several wounded on both sides, said police officer Arif Khan.
In Kashmir's main city, Srinagar, a strike shut down businesses and public transportation as marchers burned U.S. flags and an effigy of President Barack Obama. Police fired tear gas and used batons to disperse protesters.


Edited By Cen Fox Post Team
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