Bloomberg News

Anti-U.S. Protests Turn Violent in Indonesia Over Islam Film

September 17, 2012

About 400 Indonesian protesters clashed with police outside the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta as demonstrations against an anti-Islam film spread to Southeast Asia.

Police fired tear gas when the demonstrators started throwing rocks at officers outside the embassy, spokesman Rikwanto, who goes by only one name, said by telephone today. The protest ended about 5 p.m. and the street in front of the embassy has been reopened, Rikwanto said.

“Eleven officers are injured because of the rock throwing, with some protesters also using slingshots.” Rikwanto said. “The area is now littered with rocks.”

Arab protests against a film denigrating Islam eased yesterday after mobs stormed the American embassy compound in Tunisia and targeted diplomatic missions in Sudan and Yemen. Four Americans were killed in a Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

The Islamic Defenders Front, which has led raids on nightclubs and forced Lady Gaga to cancel a concert in June, helped organize today’s protests. While Indonesia has the world’s largest population of Muslims, it maintains a secular government and recognizes other religions.

The U.S. Embassy in Bangkok said it would close at noon tomorrow after Thai police informed it that “several hundred people” planned a demonstration beginning at 1 p.m. local time. The embassy “is not aware at this time of any specific threat to U.S. citizens in Thailand,” according to a statement posted on its website today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Berni Moestafa in Jakarta at bmoestafa@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tony Jordan at tjordan3@bloomberg.net


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