The wave of riots at embassies spread today, this time to Sudan — and embassies other than American. Rioters stormed the German embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, raised an Islamic flag over the building, and set fire to it:
Sudanese demonstrators broke into the German embassy in Khartoum on Friday, raising an Islamic flag and setting the building on fire in a protest against a film that demeaned the Prophet Mohammad, witnesses said.
Police had earlier fired tear gas to try to disperse some 5,000 protesters who had ringed the German embassy and nearby British mission. But a Reuters witness said policemen just stood by when the crowd forced its way into Germany’s mission.
Demonstrators hoisted a black Islamic flag saying in white letters “there is no God but God and Mohammed is his prophet”. They smashed windows, cameras and furniture in the building and then started a fire, witnesses said.
Why Germany? Reuters points out that Islamists still seethe over the Mohammed cartoons from a few years ago, especially German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to bestow an award on the Danish cartoonist under siege.
Germany says its staff is safe … “for the moment”:
“The German embassy in Khartoum is currently the target of attacks by violent demonstrators. The embassy staff are safe. The crisis cell at the foreign ministry (in Berlin) is meeting and is in contact with the embassy,” he said in a statement.
Westerwelle said the Sudanese ambassador to Germany had been summoned to his ministry Friday and “unequivocally reminded of his government’s duty to protect diplomatic missions”.
The British embassy in Khartoum fared only a little better:
Protesters against the US-made anti-Islam movie Innocence of Muslims have widened their target to include the UK as well as the US with demonstrators storming the British embassy in Sudan’s capital of Khartoum.
With protests escalating across the Middle East and North Africa, one demonstrator was killed and 25 injured in Tripoli, Lebanon, and 5,000 demonstrators converged on the diplomatic compound in Khartoum.
“We can confirm that a demonstration is taking place in front of the embassy and that local police are at the scene,” a Foreign Office spokesman said of the situation in Sudan.
Apparently, the insistence by the West that they deplore religious debate isn’t working out terribly well. The more this expands, the less it looks like a flash of grassroots anger, and more like coordination.
Update: Once again, American embassies are under attack, including the Tunis embassy, which has been breached:
Protesters have entered the US embassy in the Tunisia capital Tunis in the latest violence sparked by an anti-Muslim film.
A large fire could be seen burning inside the compound. Police fired teargas at the crowds, who broke windows and set fire to trees.
The Sudanese police were able to stop an attack on the US embassy in Khartoum … at least for now.
Update II: And now it’s Sudan, too:
Don’t let this distract us from the important issues of whether Nicki Minaj really endorsed Obama, and whether Mitt Romney’s timing on his criticism amounts to a national scandal.