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Friday, 14 September 2012

Prophet is untouchable red line, Egypt’s Morsi : Obama vows justice for slain US envoy; Mean while Angry crowds storm US Embassy in Yemen, amid protests in Iraq, Iran

Anti-Islam Film: Prophet is untouchable red line, Morsi

Asks Obama to ''take dissuasive measures''

13 September, 15:39
(ANSAmed) - CAIRO - The Prophet 'is a red line nobody can touch',  Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was quoted as saying by Egypt's Mena news agency comments on protests across Egypt and Libya and a film on the Prophet slammed as blasphemous. The Prophet 'is a red line for all Muslims and we refuse any attack', said the president. ''We will sacrifice with our soul and heart'' Morsi also said, citing a Muslim profession of faith. The Egyptian president, who had a phone conversation with US President Barack Obama before talks with European leaders and then a trip to Rome this afternoon, stressed his condemnation of 'all attempts to attack the Profet and the sacred principles of Islam'. .

Meanwhile he also assured Egyptian security forces will do everything in their power to protect foreigners in the country.

Morsi asked  also his US counterpart Barack Obama to ''take dissuasive measures against those trying to demolish relations with the US'';. Morsi also expressed his condolences for the death of the US ambassador in Libya in statements to Egypt's state television.

Talking about the ''dissuasive measures'' requested, Morsi cited Father Terry Jones stressing that ''he is the same person who tried to burn the Koran and is now trying to offend the Prophet'';.

''We don't attack anyone and do not accept any aggression against our sacred principles'' Morsi told state television after phone talks with Obama. (ANSAmed)

Obama vows justice for slain US envoy

Posted  Friday, September 14  2012 at  01:00

In Summary
Anti-mohammad film sparks protests
-Nigeria placed its police force on red alert
-The US embassy in Algiers warned Americans in Algeria to avoid non-essential travel
-Tunisian police fired tear gas and rubber bullets into the air to disperse a protest near in Tunis
-Demonstrations reported in Khartoum, Sudan, the US consulate in Casablanca, Morocco, and UN offices in Gaza
-Afghanistan ordered a block on YouTube until the offending film was removed - but the site was still visible to users in Kabul.
US envoys killed in line of duty.

President Barack Obama has vowed to bring to justice those who carried out the attack that killed the US ambassador to Libya. Speaking in the Rose Garden at the White House, President Obama told reporters: “Justice will be done.”

He condemned “in the strongest possible terms the outrageous and shocking” attack.
Ambassador J Christopher Stevens died after gunmen stormed the consulate amid protests over an anti-Islamic film.

Three other Americans were also killed, including Sean Smith, a state department employee, in what the White House described as a “complex” attack.

Obama said “it is especially tragic that Chris Stevens died in Benghazi because it is a city that he helped to save”. He praised the dead ambassador for his work in Libya after the overthrow of the late Muammar Gaddafi.

But he said the US consulate attack in Benghazi would not harm ties between the US and the new Libyan government. Meanwhile, the event has sparked a political row in the US, with rival Mitt Romney criticising Mr Obama before the president hit back.

Romney said the administration appeared to “sympathise with those who waged the attacks”. He stood by his criticism of the administration as events unfolded on Wednesday, despite a lack of firm support from his Republican party.

Later, in an interview with CBS on Wednesday, Mr Obama said that his election opponent had “a tendency to shoot first and aim later”. “It’s important for you to make sure that the statements that you make are backed up by the facts.”

The deadly violence was condemned by Libyan officials. Libya’s interim leader, Mohammed Magarief, apologised to the US over the killings, which he called “cowardly criminal acts”.

Libya’s deputy envoy to the UN, Ibrahim Dabashi, promised an investigation. “We cannot understand how this group, or these persons, could have eliminated such a wonderful person.”

In Egypt, protesters yesterday clashed with security forces after crowds returned to the US embassy in Cairo for a second evening of demonstrations over the film.
Riot police fired tear gas at protesters, some of whom were seen carrying petrol bombs, witnesses said.

Some demonstrators breached the walls of the US embassy and tore down the flag.
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi slammed “attacks” on prophet Mohammed while also stressing that he condemned violence.

“We Egyptians reject any kind of assault or insult against our prophet. I condemn and oppose all who... insult our prophet,” Morsi, on an official visit to Brussels, said in remarks broadcast by Egyptian state television.

“[But] it is our duty to protect our guests and visitors from abroad... I call on everyone to take that into consideration, to not violate Egyptian law... to not assault embassies,” he said.

Little is known with any certainty about the origins of the film [called Innocence of Muslims], including about a man named as Sam Bacile, reported as being behind its making.

Protests against the violence and against extremism in general were also held in Tripoli and Benghazi. Correspondents say the film at the heart of the row, which appeared on YouTube translated into Arabic, is highly provocative and insulting to Muslims.
An Islamic tenet bans the portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad.

US officials said Washington was investigating whether the attack was organised in advance, rather than a spontaneous assault sparked by demonstrations over the film.
Officials told Reuters there were suspicions that a militia known as the Ansar al-Sharia brigade was involved in the attack. The group has denied the claim.

They also cited reports suggesting al-Qaeda’s north Africa-based affiliate, known as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, may have been involved, the news agency reports.
Meanwhile, the US Navy has sent two destroyers to Libyan waters just a day after the envoy’s killing, CNN reported.

US officials reportedly said the ships will give President Obama “flexibility,” should his administration decide to take action against suspected militants in Libya.
The State Department has pulled most of the embassy staff from Libya, while the Pentagon sent Marine Corps units to Tripoli to provide additional protection for US diplomats still in country.

Angry crowds storm US Embassy in Yemen, amid protests in Iraq, Iran

Published September 13, 2012

Protesters angered by a film they consider blasphemous to Islam have stormed the U.S. Embassy compound in Yemen's capital, Sanaa, in the most recent attack on U.S. diplomatic posts in the Middle East.

Protesters smashed windows as they breached the embassy perimeter and reached the compound grounds, although they did not enter the main building housing the offices. Angry young men brought down the U.S. flag in the courtyard, burned it and replaced it with a black banner bearing Islam's declaration of faith — "There is no God but Allah."

Yemeni security forces who rushed to the scene fired in the air and used tear gas to disperse the demonstrators, driving them out of the compound after about 45 minutes and sealing off the surrounding streets. It was not immediately clear whether anyone was inside the embassy at the time of the attack.

Demonstrators removed the embassy's sign on the outer wall, set tires ablaze and pelted the compound with rocks.

Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi ordered an investigation into the attack.

Hadi avowed to bring the culprits to justice, saying the attack by a "rowdy crowd" was part of a conspiracy to derail Yemen's close relations with Washington.

The Embassy of the Republic of Yemen in Washington, D.C. said in a statement obtained by Fox News that Yemen strongly condemned the attack on the U.S. compound, but says the situation is under control.

"Fortunately no casualties were reported from this chaotic incident. The government of Yemen will honor international obligations to ensure the safety of diplomats and will step up security presence around all foreign missions," the statement said. "We strongly urge all those that would wish to incite others to violence to cease immediately.

Pentagon officials tell Fox News that Pentagon and U.S. Navy officials are monitoring the situation in Yemen, but so far have received no request for military assistance there following the Embassy breach.

"We are doing everything we can to support our mission in Yemen," a senior administration official told Fox News. "We've had good cooperation from the Yemeni government which is working with us to maintain order and protect our facilities and people."

The movie cited in the attacks, "Innocence of Muslims," came to attention in Egypt after its trailer was dubbed into Arabic and posted on YouTube. The video-sharing website blocked access to it Wednesday. The trailer depicts Muhammad as a fraud, a womanizer and a madman in an overtly ridiculing way, showing him having sex and calling for massacres.

The Yemen incident was similar to an attack on the U.S. Embassy in the Egyptian capital of Cairo on Tuesday night. A mob of Libyans also attacked the U.S. consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi on Tuesday, killing American Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

Three diplomats injured in the Libyan attack are being treated at an American military hospital in Germany and one of the two most seriously wounded is expected to leave the intensive care unit on Thursday

A State Department status report obtained by The Associated Press says the third injured staffer is awake and alert at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center near the Ramstein Air Base, where 33 uninjured consulate personnel are staying and receiving military counseling. All were evacuated from Benghazi early Wednesday and arrived in Germany late that afternoon along with the remains of the four diplomats.

According to the report, the injured staffers "are doing relatively well" and most want to return to Libya.

In Iraq, several hundred Shiite hardliners protested in Baghdad's Shiite stronghold of Sadr City. The leader of an Iranian-backed Shiite militia that previously attacked U.S. troops, Asaib Ahl al-Haq, threatened anti-U.S. attacks.

The movie "will put all the American interests in Iraq in danger," the militia leader, Qais al-Khazali, told The Associated Press.

The warning capped a day of growing tensions in Baghdad, where hundreds of Shiite followers of the anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr demanded the closure of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad over the anti-Islam movie.

Protestors burned American flags and carried banners reading, "We reject the attack on the Prophet Mohammed."

"No, no, to Israel! No, no to America!" thousands shouted in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City in northeast Baghdad. "Yes, yes for Messenger of God!"

There was no immediate response Thursday from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

In Iran, about 50 protesters shouted, "Death to America," outside the Swiss Embassy, which looks after U.S. diplomatic interests in Iran. Riot police kept the crowd away from the building.

On Thursday, Egyptian protesters also clashed with police near the U.S. Embassy in Cairo for the third day in a row. Police used tear gas to disperse the protesters and the two sides pelted each other with rocks. But unlike Tuesday, the police kept the protesters away from the embassy's compound.

The Interior Ministry, which is in charge of police, said 16 protesters and 13 policemen were wounded in the clashes, which broke out overnight and were ongoing. Twelve protesters have been arrested, it said.

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi criticized the movie Thursday during a visit to the European Union in Brussels.

"We condemn strongly ... all those who launch such provocations and who stand behind that hatred," Morsi said, adding that he had asked Obama "to put an end to such behavior."

But Morsi also urged the Egyptian people to not engage in "unlawful acts."