At least one thousand demonstrators gathered Friday at the U.S. embassy in Khartoum protesting over a U.S. made video that many consider offensive to Islam.
It was one of several protests around the Muslim world against the privately-produced video, which was released on the Internet.
Standing in front of the embassy Friday evening, Isma’il Kushkush, a free-lance reporter for VOA, said he saw riot police “everywhere,” and protesters were burning tires and blocking the road with rocks.
“The embassy is on the outskirts of Khartoum, in the suburbs. It’s off a main highway and there’s a side road that leads into the embassy. [That side road] has been completely blocked,” Kushkush said.
Kushkush said fire engines were on the scene to put out the fires.
Kushkush said security had fired tear gas at the protesters, and that he had heard reports of some protesters being injured, but he could not confirm that. He reported an embassy spokesperson said not too many employees were inside the embassy because it was a holiday, and that embassy security had been prepared for a protest.
Kushkush also said the demonstrators were told by an Imam at Khartoum's Grand Mosque at Friday prayers that Danish cartoons offensive to Muslims had been reprinted and placed on the doors of mosques in Berlin. The cartoons had caused widespread riots and about two hundred deaths throughout the Middle East and Africa nearly seven years ago.
Kushkush said the protests in Khartoum seemed to be the only protest in the region raising the issue of the cartoons.
He said most of the protesters dispersed around sunset.
Earlier, thousands of protesters stormed the British and German embassies in Khartoum. A mob that broke out in front of the German embassy replaced a German flag with an Islamic banner and set fire to the building.
The German Foreign Ministry said all staff members were safe and accounted for.
Listen to Kelly Nuxoll interview on Khartoum Protests