Police Open Fire On "Prophet Protesters" In Pakistan, One Killed
The torching of US embassies across the Muslim world may have been put on the backburner, perhaps driven by the withdrawal of virtually all embassy personnel across the affected regions, but the anti-US sentiment, whether predicated by some movie or not - and oddly enough nobody appears to have set any French embassies on fire following the Prophet Mohammad cartoon which appeared earlier this week, continues. The latest affected country: Pakistan, where "police opened fire on rioters who were torching a cinema during a protest against an anti-Islam film Friday, killing one man on a holiday declared by the government so that people could demonstrate against the video." So, the government specifically creates a "holiday" to protest the video then shoots people who protest the video? Does anyone else get the feeling that all authorities here are urgently doing their best to preempt a war? Was there a secret G-50 meeting in which it was decided the world was too overpopulated and a war was desperately needed? Surely that is ludicrous: just look at the natural growth that the world experienced after the first great depression unaided and unabetted by such trivialities as world war.
More from AP:
Mohammad Amir, a driver for a Pakistani television station, was killed when bullets hit his vehicle in the northwest city of Peshawar, said Kashif Mahmood, a reporter for ARY TV who was also sitting in the car at the time. The TV channel showed footage of Amir at the hospital as doctors tried to save him. It also showed the windshield of the vehicle, shattered by several gunshots.
The film denigrating the Prophet Muhammad has sparked unrest in many parts of the Muslim world over the past 10 days, and the deaths of at least 31 people, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, have been linked to the violence. Much of the anger has been directed at the U.S. government even though the film was privately produced in the U.S. and American officials have criticized it for insulting Muslims.
Pakistan has experienced nearly a week of violent rallies against the film in which three people have died. The government declared Friday to be a national holiday and encouraged people to protest peacefully.
Police could not immediately be reached for comment about the death of Amir.
The cinema where police opened fire was one of two in Peshawar that several hundred protesters ransacked and set ablaze. A similar number of protesters also torched a toll booth on the outskirts of the capital, Islamabad. Police fired tear gas at the angry crowds in both cities.
On Thursday, the government was forced to call in army troops to protect the capital after more than 2,000 stone-throwing demonstrators tried to reach the U.S. Embassy inside a guarded enclave that houses foreign missions and government offices. Security was tight in Islamabad again Friday, as police set up scores of shipping containers to prevent protesters from reaching the diplomatic enclave.
The government also blocked cell phone service in 15 major cities, including Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi, to prevent militants from using phones to detonate bombs during the protests, said an Interior Ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media. Service is scheduled to be restored at 6 p.m. local time, he said.
U.S. officials have struggled to explain to the Muslim world how they strongly disagree with the anti-Islam film but have no ability to block it because of the freedom of speech in the country.
In other news, the remainder of the world is right now waiting in line for the latest and greatest Phonshion Accessory. Etc.