Friday's peaceful protest in Binnish in northwest Syria against the US-produced film "The Innocence of Muslims"
2105 GMT: Syria. The Local Coordination Committees have updated today's death toll to 144, including 65 in Damascus and its suburbs, 23 in Aleppo Province, 22 in Idlib Province, and 15 in Deir Ez Zor Province.
1745 GMT: Syria. The Local Coordination Committees report that 127 people have been killed by security forces today, including 57 in Damascus and its suburbs, 20 in Aleppo Province --- among them, an entire family in Daret Azzah --- and 20 in Idlib Province.
“Sudan is able to protect the diplomatic missions in Khartoum and the state is committed to protecting its guests in the diplomatic corps,” Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti told State news agency SUNA.
Washington has already deployed Marines to the US Embassies in Yemen and Libya.
Rami Aysha, a well-known Lebanese-Palestinian reporter who has done this valuable work for several major foreign news organizations in Lebanon, including Time, was picked up two weeks ago while reporting a story in Beirut’s Hizballah-controlled southern suburbs. Hizballah agents stopped Aysha, who was traveling in a car with two other men, at gunpoint. The three men were badly beaten, and Aysha’s video camera was destroyed. The three men were then turned over to Lebanon’s military police, who continued to beat them, according to accounts from Aysha’s lawyer.
According to the lawyer, Aysha’s case was heard by a military judge who refused to release him on bail, even though charges have yet to be brought. On September 12, Aysha was transferred to Quba Prison in the northern city of Tripoli, far from his wife and daughter, where he is only allowed limited contact with his family. “He is terrified,” says his brother, Ramzi Aysha. “He is surrounded by criminals, yet he was doing nothing but journalism.”
....On Thursday a military judge said that Aysha could not be released until the investigation was complete, according to Ramzi Aysha. A court date has not been set, and under Lebanese law he could remain in detention for up to six months without charge.
1343 GMT: Syria. Claimed footage of damage in the Midan section of Aleppo from regime shelling --- an AFP correspondent said that the army has taken most of the area and set up checkpoints but insurgents hold positions to the north and east:
1107 GMT: Tunisia. The youth wing of the ruling Ennadha Party has condemned Friday's attack on the U.S. Embassy in Tunis and a neighbouring American school, saying such violence threatens the country’s progress toward democracy after decades of dictatorship.
Two demonstrators and at least 40 demonstrators and police were injured in clashes.
The Ennahda statement condemned both the US film denigrating the Prophet Mohammad and violence, accusing “enemies of the revolution” of turning peaceful demonstrations into destruction: "We call on the youth and on all Tunisians to maintain vigilance and unity in order to prevent all attempts at sowing divisions and halting the revolution."
Nakoula voluntarily went to the station in Cerritos to answer queries by federal officers about probation violations.
Nakoula,55, has been previously convicted of bank fraud before he allegedly embarked on making the film under the name Sam Bacile.
Nakoula, told the Associated Press in a brief interview outside his home that he considered Islam a cancer and that the film was intended to be a provocative political statement assailing the religion.
Meanwhile, several hundred protesters gathered in Australia's largest city Sydney, with some throwing rocks and bottles during clashes with police, outside the US consulate.
Several streets were blocked off by police as the protest grew, and officers used dogs and chemical sprays as they tried to control the gathering.
Police later said six officers had been injured and eight protesters arrested.
1021 GMT: Syria. Following his first meeting with President Assad this morning, United Nations-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has declared, "This crisis is very dangerous....This crisis is deteriorating and represents a danger to the Syrian people, to the region, and to the whole world."
Brahimi continued, "I believe that the president realises more than me the dimensions and the danger of this crisis." He said that Assad and his officials had pledged to support his work and that he would return to the region soon after talks in New York with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.
As protesters stood chanting on low concrete blocks designed to stop vehicles approaching the compound, Yemen's Central Security Forces, in their camouflage uniforms, blue berets, and distinctive bright blue-and-orange arm patches looked on. Fifty-caliber machine gun "dushkas" mounted on the back of pick-up trucks, stationed under sun-protecting shelters, menacingly faced the crowd.
Then, without so much as a raised hand from the soldiers, protesters walked straight though the gaps between the yellow and black striped blocks. Like a gentleman holding a door open for a lady, the soldiers, with their AK-47s slung over their shoulders, stepped back, letting the chanting mob through. And as the angry mob marched further towards the embassy building itself the soldiers walked with them, some even smiling.
0623 GMT: Syria. Claimed footage of 21 regime soldiers held by the Free Syrian Army in Deir Ez Zor Province:
0615 GMT: Syria. The Local Coordination Committees reports 392 protests throughout the country on Friday. It says that Aleppo Province led with 72, followed by Idlib, Hama, and Deir Ez Zor Provinces and rallies in and near Damascus.
The Committees claim 114 people were killed by security forces yesterday.
0610 GMT: Libya. For the first time, the Government has said Tuesday's attacks in Benghazi, which killed four Americans and ten Libyans, may be the planned outcome of "experienced masterminds" from outside as well as inside the country.
"I think this was Al Qa'eda," Mohamed al-Magarief, the head of the National Assembly said on Friday. "If you take into account the weapons used like RPGs and other heavy weapons, it proves that it was pre-planned. It's a dirty act of revenge that has nothing to do with religion."
Al-Magarief repeated the claims in an interview with AFP today, "The operation was meticulously executed....“There was planning. It was not a peaceful protest which degenerated into an armed attack or aggression.
Noting that the assault took place of 11 September, al-Magarief continued, "I do not exclude discovering things that will link Al Qa'eda and the US consulate attack."
0515 GMT: MENA. A summary of the demonstrations and clashes on Friday around US diplomatic missions and/or US-based business....
Yemen: four people killed and dozens wounded near the US Embassy, before Marines arrived at the compound. Sudan: three people killed near the US Embassy, and the German and British Embassies damaged and burned. Lebanon: two people killed and 25 wounded in Tripoli amid the damaging and burning of US-based franchises such as KFC, Hardee's, Arby's, and Krispy Kreme. Tunisia: two people killed near the US Embassy, with a nearby American school set on fire.
Yet, amid the violence and the dramatic, some counter-points. Clashes between demonstrators and police in Egypt tapered off during the day, possibly because the Muslim Brotherhood --- whose members hold the Presidency and most of the Parliamentary seats --- pulled the call for national protests, and thus the prospect of their supporters joining the confrontation, just before rallies were schedued to begin. Libya was tension, with Benghazi Airport shut as US drones carried out surveillance missions, but there was no further violence after the deaths of four Americans and 10 Libyans on Tuesday.
Evidence also points to some of the protests as the product of regimes and their supporters throwing a jab at the US and the "West". The leading case is Sudan, where buses carried some of the demonstrators from Embassy to Embassy before security forces halted the proceedings, but Bahrain --- where protesters did not engage in violence but did raise the black Islamic flag in front of the US Embassy --- also offered an interesting, if overlooked, episode.
So, as debate continues about whether the protests and violence was "spontaneous" or "planned" --- Answer: Both --- a larger question for today. Have we now seen the culmination of a burst of anger and tension, fuelled by but beyond the US-produced film denigrating the Prophet Mohammad, or is this the start of an ongoing campaign marked by the challenge to "America" but, in some cases, governments and societies at home?