Sinai Bedouin protest as part of widespread anger across the Muslim world about a film ridiculing Islam's Prophet Muhammad in the central Sinai oasis of Wadi Feran, Egypt, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. Banner reads, "I love Muhammad " in many languages. (AP Photo/Mohammed Sabry)
CAIRO -- Angry protests over an anti-Islam film spread across the Muslim world Friday, with demonstrators scaling the walls of U.S. embassies in Tunisia and Sudan, torching part of a German embassy and clashing with police in violence that left at least four dead. Amid the turmoil, Islamic militants waving black banners and shouting "God is great" stormed an international peacekeepers base in Egypt's Sinai and battled troops.
Egypt's new Islamist president went on national TV and appealed to Muslims to not attack embassies, denouncing the violence earlier this week in Libya that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador.
Mohammed Morsi's first public move to restrain protesters after days of near silence appeared aimed at repairing strains with the United States over this week's violence.
Police in Cairo and the Yemeni capital Sanaa dug in to prevent protesters from reaching U.S. embassies, firing tear gas and clashing with the young demonstrators. But elsewhere, authorities gave the anger freer rein: In Sudan, the attack on the U.S. Embassy came after a call from a cleric on state radio, and protesters drove unhampered for miles in a convoy of buses to the embassy.
The day of protests, which spread to around 20 countries, started small and mostly peacefully in countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The most violent demonstrations took place in the Middle East. In many places, only a few hundred took to the streets, mostly ultraconservative Islamists -- but the mood was often furious.
The demonstrators came out after weekly Friday Muslim prayers, where many clerics in their mosque sermons urged congregations to defend their faith, denouncing the obscure movie produced in the United States that denigrated the Prophet Muhammad. It was a dramatic expansion of protests that began earlier this week and saw assaults on the U.S. embassies in Egypt and Yemen and the storming of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Several thousand battled with Tunisian security forces outside the U.S. Embassy in Tunis. Protesters rained stones on police firing volleys of tear gas and shooting into the air. Some protesters scaled the embassy wall and stood on top of it, planting the Islamist flag that has become a symbol of the wave of protests: A black banner with the Islamic profession of faith, "There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet."
Police chased them off the wall and took the flag down. Two protesters were killed and 29 people were wounded, including police.
The heaviest violence came in Sudan, where a prominent sheik on state radio urged protesters to march on the German Embassy to protest alleged anti-Muslim graffiti on mosques in Berlin and then to the U.S. Embassy to protest the film.
"America has long been an enemy to Islam and to Sudan," Sheik Mohammed Jizouly said.
Soon after, several hundred Sudanese stormed into the German Embassy, setting part of an embassy building aflame along with trash bins and a parked car.