Egyptian protesters angry at a film they say insults Prophet Mohammad hurled stones at a line of police in Cairo blocking their way to the U.S. embassy, which was attacked earlier this week.
Police in riot gear fired tear gas and threw stones back at the demonstrators. A burnt-out car was overturned in the middle of the street which leads to the fortified embassy from Tahrir Square.
Police had tried to clear the Square on Friday ahead of a nationwide protest called by the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s most influential group that propelled President Mohamed Mursi to power following popular protests that toppled president Hosni Mubarak and ushered in the first democratic elections in decades. But shortly after they cleared Tahrir, demonstrators returned, Reuters reports.
The Egyptian authorities had erected large concrete blocks to block the route to the embassy.
“Before the police, we were attacked by Obama,” shouted one demonstrator, blaming U.S. President Barack Obama and the U.S. government for insulting the Prophet.
One banner held aloft by demonstrators read: “It is the duty of all Muslims and Christians to kill Morris Sadek and Sam Bacile and everyone who participated in the film.”
Several demonstrators waved green and black flags with Koranic verses on them.
The crowd was a mixed collection of people – some were bearded Islamists wearing traditional gallabiya robes, but most were youths and young men in T-shirts and jeans.