September 17, 2012 - 12:33 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Hundreds of Afghans burned cars and threw rocks at a U.S. military base as a demonstration against an anti-Islam film that ridicules the Prophet Muhammad turned violent in the Afghan capital early Monday, Sept 17, The Associated Press reported.
The air was thick with smoke on the Jalalabad road - a main thoroughfare into the city center where the crowd burned shipping containers and tires. Sirens wailed as fire engines rushed to the scene. At least one police vehicle was burned by the mob, according Daoud Amin, the police chief for Kabul province.
Men grabbed rocks from the roadside and lobbed them at Camp Phoenix, a U.S. military base that lies along the road. More than 20 police officers were slightly injured — all from being hit by rocks, said Gen. Fahim Qaim, the commander of a city quick-reaction police force.
It was the fourth day of Afghan protests against the film. Privately produced in the United States, the low-budget video portrays Muhammad as a fraud, a womanizer and a child molester. The film sparked violent protests in many Muslim countries in recent days, many of them outside U.S. diplomatic posts around the world.
The U.S. Ambassador to Libya was killed during an attack on the consulate in Benghazi last week; protesters have also stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tunis and held violent demonstrations outside posts in Egypt and Sudan. The U.S. has responded by deploying additional military forces to increase security in certain hotspots.
In Kabul on Monday, protesters shouted "Death to America!" and "Death to those people who have made a film and insulted our prophet!"
Police officers shot into the air to hold back about 800 people and prevent them from pushing toward government buildings downtown, said Azizullah, a police officer at the site who, like many Afghans, only goes by one name.
By late morning, the protest on Jalalabad road appeared to be dying down but demonstrations were picking up elsewhere in the city. In the southeastern part of Kabul, about 50 protesters gathered in front of a mosque, shouting "Death to America," said police officer Ahmad Shafiq.