Update: Thousands protest at US embassy

Update: Thousands protest at US embassy

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Tue, 11/09/2012 - 23:29

The number of protesters outside the US embassy in Cairo began to decrease Tuesday night after thousands had gathered earlier to protest a film they said was being produced in the United States that insults the Prophet Mohamed.

Ultras, hardcore football fans, have joined the protest, banging drums, setting off fireworks and insulting the Central Security Forces soldiers stationed around the embassy.

Earlier, around 5,000 people chanted against the US and President Barack Obama, declaring that they are willing to give their lives to avenge the dignity of their prophet.

Some protesters scaled the embassy walls and tore down the American flag, which they told Egypt Independent they burned. The demonstrators set up a ladder behind the wall and flew a black flag with the words "There is no god but Allah and Mohamed is his messenger."

Protesters say there has been no violence. AFP reported that police intervened without force and persuaded protesters to come down from the embassy walls.

Protesters spraypainted the Islamic declaration of faith on the embassy's outer wall. The shahada was also spraypainted on the embassy's entrance, along with "Bin Laden," and demonstrators hung up the Egyptian flag.

Mohamed al-Deeb, a 20-year-old university student, was provoked to take part in the protest after seeing clips of the film in which the Prophet Mohamed is portrayed as homosexual and misconceptions about Islam are spread.

"What angered us is the insult to the Prophet and the lack of response from the state," Deeb said. "We are always peaceful and we do not want to escalate, but if the film is shown, we will."

Protesters told Egypt Independent that they want the US ambassador to be expelled, for the film not to be shown in the US, and for Egyptians involved in the making of the film to have their citizenship revoked.

"Just like the US always complains that its national security is in danger, we feel that our spiritual security is in danger by having something that is holy to us insulted," said protester Wahid Younis. "We want the US to take action against this film to end this sit-in."