CAIRO — Al-Qaida’s branch in North Africa today called for attacks on U.S. diplomats and an escalation of protests against an anti-Islam video that was produced in the United States and triggered a wave of demonstrations and riots in the Middle East and beyond.
Protests against the film turned violent in Pakistan and Indian-controlled Kashmir and hundreds of people rallied in Indonesia and Thailand.
At least 10 protesters have died in riots in several countries, bringing the total number of deaths linked to unrest over the film to 22.
In a statement, Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb urged Muslims to pull down and burn American flags at embassies, and kill or expel American diplomats to “purge our land of their filth in revenge for the honor of the Prophet.”
Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula recently issued a similar call for attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities. It is al-Qaida’s most active branch in the Middle East.