US to close Indonesia missions over film
Posted on September 21, 2012, Friday
JAKARTA: All US diplomatic missions in Indonesia will be closed today amid the threat of ‘significant demonstrations’ on the Muslim holy day over an anti-Islam film, the American Embassy said yesterday.
The low-budget American film, ‘Innocence of Muslims’ has sparked furious demonstrations across the Muslim world, including Indonesia where protesters on Monday hurled petrol bombs outside the embassy in the capital Jakarta.
US diplomatic missions in Jakarta and three other cities will be closed today “because of the potential for significant demonstrations that might be held in front of these facilities”, the embassy said in a statement.
“We advise, as always, that people should avoid large crowds and other gatherings that might turn violent,” it added.
Officials said 11 policemen and a protester were wounded in Monday’s unrest, one of several protests to hit the world’s most populous Muslim nation, in which police used water cannon and tear gas to control some 700 demonstrators, mostly from hardline Islamic groups.
Australia yesterday also issued a safety warning to its citizens in Indonesia about the protests, urging them to “maintain a high level of vigilance and security awareness”. — AFP