Mobs Targeting U.S. Missions Torch Banks, Cinemas Across Pakistan [View all]
By Haris Anwar and Khurrum Anis - Sep 21, 2012 7:41 AM ET
Pakistanis protesting an anti-Islam film made in the U.S. poured onto the streets in major cities, clashing with police in attempts to reach American diplomatic missions and ignoring appeals for calm from the prime minister.
Five people were killed 112 were injured in Karachi where mobs set fire to five movie theaters, banks and fast food outlets. Protesters also ransacked the chamber of commerce, shops and cinema houses in Peshawar where six people were killed and 40 wounded. Police were able to keep thousands of angry protesters away from highly protected U.S. missions in clashes that started soon after the Friday prayer.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf had urged peaceful protests against the amateur movie that has sparked demonstrations across the Muslim world in the last 10 days. The government shut mobile-phone services in major cities and deployed police and paramilitary troops to quell the violence.
“Extremist elements have taken hostage our concept of a national holiday to register our peaceful protest,” Ashraf said at a conference in Islamabad today. “Attacking foreign missions is against Islam. I appeal to everyone to register your protest without damage to life and property.”