KABUL, Sept 18, 2012 (AFP) – A breakdown of events since the diffusion of a film considered offensive to Islam, which prompted violent anti-US protests around the Muslim world.
The US-produced film “Innocence of Muslims,” directed by a Coptic Christian filmmaker, calls Islam a “cancer”.
–TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2012–
- At the US consulate in Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three more embassy officials are killed, including two ex-marines.
According to an American official, extremists used hostility to the film as a pretext to launch an attack on US interests on the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
- In Egypt, some 3,000 mainly Salafist demonstrators demonstrate at the Cairo US embassy.
–WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12–
- Libya apologises to the United States and blames followers of the deposed regime of late strongman Moamer Kadhafi and Al-Qaeda.
- US President Barack Obama condemns the “outrageous” attack but vows he will not break America’s bond with Libya. He orders stepped up security at US posts worldwide.
–THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13–
- In Yemen, where the US embassy is attacked, clashes between police and demonstrators kill four people. More than 200 are injured when protesters stone the US mission in Cairo. Demonstrations also take place in Iraq, Iran and the Gaza Strip.
–FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14–
- In Sudan, security forces use tear gas against some 10,000 demonstrators near the US embassy. Two protesters are killed. Protesters set the German mission ablaze.
- In the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, one person is killed in clashes between security forces and Islamists.
- In Tunis four people are killed in clashes at the US embassy and nearby American school.
–SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15–
- Taliban militants storm Camp Bastion, a heavily fortified airfield in Afghanistan’s Helmand province where Britain’s Prince Harry is deployed, killing two US Marines.
- Al-Qaeda’s Yemeni branch says the deadly attack on US diplomats in Libya was in “revenge” for the killing of its number two, Sheikh Abu Yahya al-Libi, in a drone strike in June.
–SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 16–
- Libya announces the arrest of 50 suspects over the Benghazi killing.
–MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 17–
- Two protesters against the film die in Pakistan, while demonstrations also take place in Afghanistan and Azerbaijan.
- Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah warns of “very dangerous” global repercussions if the film is released in its entirety as tens of thousands take to the streets of southern Beirut for his rare public appearance.
- Salafist cleric in Egypt Ahmad Fouad Ashoush issues a fatwa against the film’s cast and crew.
–TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18–
- A suicide car bombing in Kabul kills 12 people, nine of them foreigners, in the deadliest single attack claimed in vengeance for the film to date. Afghan insurgent group Hezb-i-Islami claims responsibility, saying it wants to avenge the film.
- Demonstrations take place in Peshawar in northwest Pakistan, Bangkok and east Jerusalem.
So far 31 have been killed in the unrest since the attack on the US consulate a week ago.
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