A Pakistani man has died of injuries sustained while participating in a violent anti-American protest that involved burning a United States flag.
The man, identified as Abdullah Ismail, died of smoke inhalation. He was standing close to the flags while they were being torched by rioters, according to a Pakistani news outlet.
More than 10,000 demonstrators allegedly took to the streets in Lahore, Pakistan on Tuesday, during a rally against the obscure amateur video that mocked the life of the Prophet Mohammed, founder of Islam.
Rioters at the rally organized by the Tehreek Hurmat-i-Rasool chanted anti-American slogans and torched a large U.S. flag outside the American consulate in the eastern Pakistani city. The mob clashed with police officers as they tried to reach the consulate building, as has happened in several other countries.
Among the Muslim clerics whipping the crowd into a frenzy was the head of the jihadist Jamatud Dawa group, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, who insisted the U.S. government was linked to the film. Saeed called for film director Nakoula Basseley Nakoula and those involved in its production and distribution to be hanged, and then according to the Express Tribune, he issued a direct threat: "The U.S. must make a law against blasphemy, or we will not let the U.S. consulates in Pakistan to function.”
There were a number of other similar protests across the country in Pakistan on Tuesday as well, including one involving hundreds of rioters in the northwest, who torched a press club and a government building. They also surrounded a police station, where officers locked themselves in to stay safe. One protester was killed and several others were wounded in a shootout in the city of Wari, according to police spokesperson Akhtar Hayat.
In Karachi, in the south, hundreds also clashed with police for a second day as a mob did its best to try and reach the U.S. Consulate there as well. Forty arrests were made.
In Chaman, some 3,000 students and teachers held what has been reported as a peaceful protest as well.
The video, released six months ago in the United States, made no headlines at all until a clip was translated into Arabic, posted on the Internet and broadcast on Egyptian television. Radical Islamists and Muslims extremists instantly pounced on the clip as the latest excuse for worldwide violence to “defend the honor of Islam.”
Savage attacks on U.S. and other Western embassies and consulates around the world prompted the United States and a number of other countries to close their missions, at least temporarily. A U.S. Ambassador to Libya and three American diplomats, as well as two U.S. marines were murdered in the global attacks.