Pakistan explodes in protest; movie theaters attacked; 3 killed…
At least one person has died as demonstrations against an anti-Islam video erupt across Pakistan, a day after protesters tried to storm the US embassy in the capital, Islamabad.
Angry demonstrators set fire to two cinemas in the northwestern city of Peshawar, police and witnesses said on Friday, as the country began a day of protests.
One protester was wounded when a cinema guard opened fire as crowds armed with clubs and bamboo poles converged on the Firdaus picture house, “smashing it up and setting furniture ablaze”, according to Gohar Ali, a police officer.
Witnesses said a separate rampaging crowd stormed the Shama cinema, notorious locally for showing films considered to be pornographic.
Tens of thousands of Pakistanis were expected to take to the streets across the country after the government called an impromptu public holiday to let people protest.
Police on alert
The protests followed clashes on Thursday as security forces used tear gas and live rounds to disperse protesters close to the US embassy in Islamabad.
“Thousand of people have already gathered and more are expected to join in the next half an hour as Friday prayers conclude across the city,” Al Jazeera’s Kamal Hyder reported from the city on Friday.
“The most important thing here will be whether these protesters are able to get close to the diplomatic area as they did yesterday in battles with the police.
“The military have taken their position and the police are on alert. They will be trying to avoid a situation like yesterday from happening again.”