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Violent clashes over anti-Islam film in 3 nations

By Abdullah Khan

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Sept. 17 2012 7:16 a.m. MDT

Elsewhere in Pakistan, hundreds of protesters clashed with police for a second day in the southern city of Karachi as they tried to reach the U.S. Consulate. Police lobbed tear gas and fired in the air to disperse the protesters, who were from the student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami party. Police arrested 40 students, but no injuries have been reported, said senior police officer Asif Ejaz Shaikh.

One protester was killed and over a dozen were wounded in similar clashes in Karachi on Sunday.

Pakistanis have also held many peaceful protests against the film, including one in the southwest town of Chaman on Monday attended by around 3,000 students and teachers.

In neighboring Afghanistan, hundreds of people burned cars and threw rocks at a U.S. military base in the capital, Kabul. Many in the crowd shouted "Death to America!" and "Death to those people who have made a film and insulted our prophet."

Protests broke out in several part of Kabul. On the main throroughfare through the city, demonstrators burned tires, shipping containers and at least one police vehicle before they were dispersed. Elsewhere in the city, police shot in the air to hold back a crowd of about 800 protesters and prevent them from pushing toward government buildings downtown, said Azizullah, a police officer at the site who, like many Afghans, only goes by one name.

More than 20 police officers were slightly injured, most by rocks, said Gen. Fahim Qaim, the commander of a city quick-reaction police force.

The rallies will continue "until the people who made the film go to trial," said one protester, Wahidullah Hotak, among several dozen people demonstrating in front of a Kabul mosque, demanding President Barack Obama bring those who have insulted the prophet to justice.

A number of Afghan religious leaders urged calm.

"Our responsibility is to show a peaceful reaction, to hold peaceful protests. Do not harm people, their property or public property," said Karimullah Saqib, a cleric in Kabul.

In Jakarta, hundreds of Indonesians clashed with police outside the U.S. Embassy, hurling rocks and firebombs and setting tires alight, marking the first violence over the film seen in the world's most populous Muslim country.

At least 10 police were rushed to the hospital after being pelted with rocks and attacked with bamboo sticks, said Jakarta Police Chief Maj. Gen. Untung Rajad. He said four protesters were arrested and one was hospitalized.

Demonstrators burned a picture of Obama and also tried to ignite a fire truck parked outside the embassy after ripping a water hose off the vehicle and torching it, sending plumes of black smoke billowing into the sky. Police used a bullhorn to appeal for calm and deployed water cannons and tear gas to try to disperse the crowd as the protesters shouted "Allah Akbar," or God is great.

"We will destroy America like this flag!" a protester screamed while burning a U.S. flag. "We will chase away the American ambassador from the country!"

Demonstrations were also held Monday in the Indonesian cities of Medan and Bandung. Over the weekend in the central Java town of Solo, protesters stormed KFC and McDonald's restaurants, forcing customers to leave and management to close the stores.

The wave of international violence began last Tuesday when mainly Islamist protesters climbed the U.S. Embassy walls in the Egyptian capital of Cairo and tore down the American flag from a pole in the courtyard.

The U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, was killed Tuesday along with three other Americans, as violent protesters stormed the consulate in Benghazi. Protesters have also stormed the U.S. Embassies in Tunis and Yemen and held violent demonstrations outside other posts.

Associated Press writers Heidi Vogt in Kabul, Adil Jawad in Karachi, Pakistan, Matiullah Achakzai in Chaman, Pakistan, Sherin Zada in Mingora, Pakistan, Riaz Khan in Peshawar, Pakistan, and Niniek Karmini in Jakarta, Indonesia, contributed to this report.

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