The Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Battalion said Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, 44, had been released on June 9 but he has not been shown in public.
Local reports suggest Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is now in the eastern city of Bayda with relatives.
His lawyer, Khaled al-Zaidi, also said he had been released but would not say which city Saif al-Islam had traveled to for security reasons.
The Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Battalion said it was acting on a request from the “interim government”.
Image source Wikipedia
That government – based in the east of Libya – had already offered amnesty to Saif al-Islam.
However, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi has been sentenced to death in absentia by a court in Tripoli, the west of Libya, where control is in the hands of the rival, UN-backed Government of National Accord.
Previous reports of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi’s release proved to be false.
Muammar Gaddafi’s son is wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity during his father’s unsuccessful attempts to put down the rebellion.
Saif al-Islam – who was controversially granted a PhD by the London School of Economics in 2008 – was captured in November 2011 after three months on the run following the end of Muammar Gaddafi’s decades-long rule.
He was previously known for playing a key role in building relations with the West after 2000, and had been considered the reformist face of his father’s regime.
However, after the 2011 uprising, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi found himself accused of incitement to violence and murdering protesters.
Four years later, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was sentenced to death by firing squad following a trial involving 30 of Muammar Gaddafi’s close associates.
Algerian terrorist Mokhtar Belmokhtar has been killed in a US air strike in Libya, officials say.
Mokhtar Belmokhtar, 43, and other fighters were killed in the raid by aircraft in the eastern city of Ajdabiya, a statement from Libya’s government said.
The US has confirmed Mokhtar Belmokhtar was targeted but did not say he had died.
The Pentagon described the strike as successful and that officials were still assessing its results.
It would “provide more details as appropriate” said spokesman Colonel Steve Warren.
There have been incorrect reports of Mokhtar Belmokhtar’s death in the past.
Born in Algeria, Mokhtar Belmokhtar was a former senior figure in al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), but left to form his own militia.
Mokhtar Belmokhtar gained notoriety with the attack on the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria in 2013, when about 800 people were taken hostage and 40 killed, most of them foreigners, including three Americans.
The US has filed terror charges against him and officials said they believed he remained a threat to Western interests.
Col. Steve Warren said: “Belmokhtar has a long history of leading terrorist activities as a member of AQIM, is the operational leader of the al-Qaeda-associated al-Murabitoun organization in north-west Africa, and maintains his personal allegiance to al-Qaeda.”
The Libyan government said the strike came after consultation with the US. Their statement said it resulted in the death of the “terrorist Belmokhtar”.
Libya has been in chaos since the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Its internationally recognized parliament is operating in exile in the eastern port of Tobruk.
A rival parliament, the Islamist-dominated General National Congress, is nearly 600 miles to the west in Tripoli.
Rival militia has been battling to fill the power vacuum, with Islamic State militants battling other Islamists in the east.
Egypt has bombed ISIS targets in Libya, hours after the group published video showing the apparent killings of 21 Egyptian Christians.
State TV said the dawn strikes had targeted camps, training sites and weapons storage areas.
Libyan officials said Egypt had hit targets in the militant-held city of Derna in co-ordination with Libya.
A video emerged on February 15 showing militants forcing a group of men to the ground and decapitating them.
Islamic State militants claim to have carried out several attacks in Libya, which is in effect without a government.
The kidnapped Egyptian workers, all Coptic Christians, were seized in December and January from the coastal town of Sirte in eastern Libya, under the control of Islamist groups.
The video of the beheadings was posted online by Libyan jihadists who pledge loyalty to ISIS. The victims were all wearing orange overalls as in previous videos of ISIS executions. It was one of the first such videos to come from an ISIS group outside its core territory in Syria and Iraq.
Egypt did not give the locations of the strikes, but reports said that Egyptian jets had taken part in co-ordinated air strikes on Derna.
Libyan Air force commander Saqer al-Joroushi told Reuters that Libyan planes had bombed targets in Sirte and Bin Jawad.
Earlier, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said Egypt had the “right to respond” against ISIS, whom he described as “inhuman criminal killers”.
“Egypt and the whole world are in a fierce battle with extremist groups carrying extremist ideology and sharing the same goals.”
Egypt has declared seven days of national mourning.
Leading international condemnation, the United States called the killings “despicable” and “cowardly”.
Libya is home to a large community of both Muslim and Coptic Egyptians, with most working in the construction sector.
In the first kidnapping in Sirte, in late December, a group of Coptic Christians was abducted at a fake checkpoint while trying to leave the city.
Days later, militants raided a residential compound in Sirte and separated Christians from Muslims before handcuffing their captives and taking them away.
Libya’s PM Abdullah al-Thani has resigned in a move to end the power struggle in the country.
Abdullah al-Thani’s cabinet said it was resigning to enable the elected parliament to choose a new, inclusive government.
The Islamist-linked militia which seized the capital, Tripoli, last week has called for the elected parliament to be replaced by the previous body, the General National Congress (GNC).
Libya has been hit by instability since the 2011 ousting of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
The various armed groups which united against Libya’s long-time leader have refused to disarm, leaving the government unable to exert control.
Libya’s PM Abdullah al-Thani has resigned in a move to end the power struggle in the country (photo Reuters)
French President Francois Hollande on Thursday called for the UN to give “exceptional support” to Libya to prevent the country sliding further into chaos.
Following the call by the Misrata-led militia for the GNC to reform, some members gathered this week in Tripoli and said they had appointed a new prime minister.
The UN this week stressed that it only recognized the elected body, the House of Representatives, which is dominated by liberal and federalist lawmakers.
The GNC had an Islamist majority.
Because of the instability in Tripoli, and the second city Benghazi, the House of Representatives has been meeting in the far eastern town of Tobruk.
Abdullah al-Thani, 60, served as Libya’s prime minister since March 2014, when he took over in an interim capacity after Congress dismissed Ali Zeidan. He was previously the defense minister in the government of Ali Zeidan.
The US Navy SEALs have taken control of Morning Glory tanker full of oil loaded from a rebel-held port in Libya, the Pentagon says.
The raid by Navy SEALs took place in international waters south of Cyprus, said Rear Admiral John Kirby.
The Morning Glory’s evasion of a naval blockade at the eastern port of Sidra prompted Libya’s parliament to sack PM Ali Zeidan last week.
The oil terminal has been under the control of militia wanting autonomy for eastern Libya since July 2013.
The US Navy SEALs have taken control of Morning Glory tanker full of oil loaded from a rebel-held port in Libya
This was their first attempt to export oil from rebel-held areas. It is not clear where the tanker was headed.
Admiral John Kirby said the operation had been authorized by President Barack Obama and that no-one had been hurt.
“The Morning Glory is carrying a cargo of oil owned by the Libyan government National Oil Company. The ship and its cargo were illicitly obtained,” he said, adding that it would now be returned to a Libyan port.
Morning Glory was flagged in North Korea but officials in Pyongyang said it had been deregistered because of the incident.
The oil tanker was said to have been operated by an Egyptian company.
Libyan rebels, who seized oil ports in the country’s eastern region, say they have loaded oil on to a North Korean-flagged tanker.
The Morning Glory docked at Sidra port earlier on Saturday, after a failed attempt to dock on Tuesday.
“We started exporting oil. This is our first shipment,” a rebel spokesman said.
The rebels demand more autonomy – and oil wealth – for Libya’s east.
Analysts have said it is unlikely the ship is owned or controlled by Pyongyang.
Libya’s state-owned National Oil Corp (NOC) had warned tankers against approaching the port, and two others in Libya’s volatile east that are also controlled by armed groups.
It is not the first attempt to ship oil from the rebel-controlled port.
Rebels who seized oil ports in eastern Libya say they have loaded oil on to a North Korean-flagged tanker
On Monday, the Libyan navy ship Ibn Auf fired warning shots at a Maltese-flagged oil tanker to prevent it from docking and loading oil.
The owners of the ship complained it was fired on in international waters.
Libya’s government has tried to end a wave of protests at oil fields and ports, which have slashed vital oil revenues, but there has been little progress in indirect talks between the government and former militia leader Ibrahim Jathran, now leading the protests.
His men seized three eastern ports last year, which previously accounted for 600,000 barrels of oil a day.
Libya is struggling with armed groups and tribesmen who helped topple Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 but who have kept their weapons.
Ibrahim Jathran’s demands include an independent commission representing the three regions of Libya. He wants the commission to supervise the sale of oil and ensure the east gets a fair share of the revenue.
The government has so far not acted on threats to retake Sidra, or other rebel-controlled ports.
Libya’s oil output has slowed to a trickle since the protests started in July last year, depriving the OPEC producer of its main budget source.
New reports have claimed that Nicolas Sarkozy has had his phone tapped for the past year on the orders of judges investigating alleged campaign donations from Libya.
French newspaper Le Monde says the phone taps have revealed evidence of tampering with the justice system.
It says a senior prosecutor in the country’s highest court was feeding Nicolas Sarkozy confidential information.
Nicolas Sarkozy’s lawyer denies the claims and says the phone taps were illegal.
The investigators who ordered the taps were looking into allegations, unproven, that Nicolas Sarkozy had taken illegal payments for his election campaign from late Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi.
Nicolas Sarkozy has had his phone tapped for the past year on the orders of judges investigating alleged campaign donations from Libya
According to Le Monde, what the investigators discovered from the phone taps was that Nicolas Sarkozy was getting inside information from the courts about the course of various inquiries into his past.
This information was allegedly being fed from a senior prosecutor at the appeals court whom, Le Monde says, Nicolas Sarkozy tried to reward with an official post in Monaco.
Nicolas Sarkozy’s lawyer, Thierry Herzog, said on Friday that his client “is probably still being tapped” and denounced what he said was a politically motivated plot against him.
He told AFP news agency: “There was no attempt to pervert the course of justice and in due course this monstrous violation will be shown to have been a political affair.”
Nicolas Sarkozy is planning a political comeback, and the drip of allegations like this has the potential to do him harm.
It was in 2011 that Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, accused Nicolas Sarkozy of taking millions of his father’s money for illegal campaign funding, a claim Sarkozy has strongly denied.
At the time France was spearheading NATO’s military campaign in Libya.
NicolasSarkozy, who lost the 2012 presidential election to Francois Hollande, is also under formal investigation over claims he received illegal donations for the 2007 race from France’s richest woman, 90-year-old L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt. He has denied all the allegations.
Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Saadi, has been extradited from Niger and is now in custody in Tripoli, the Libyan government says.
Pictures posted on the internet showed Saadi Gaddafi, one of Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s seven sons, having his head and beard shaved.
Saadi Gaddafi, the former head of Libya’s football federation, fled to Niger after his father was killed in the 2011 revolution.
He is accused of shooting protesters and other crimes during Muammar Gaddafi’s rule.
Saadi Gaddafi, the former head of Libya’s football federation, fled to Niger after his father was killed in the 2011 revolution
The Libyan government made an announcement about Saadi Gaddafi’s extradition in a short statement early on Thursday.
“The Libyan government received today Saadi Gaddafi and he arrived in Tripoli,” it said.
The plane with Saadi Gaddafi landed at 02:50 local time.
Niger had previously refused Libyan requests to extradite him, with the justice minister saying he was “certain to face the death penalty”.
In 2012, Interpol issued a “red notice”, obliging member countries to arrest him.
Saadi Gaddafi had reportedly resided in a state guesthouse in Niger’s capital, Niamey, after fleeing across the Sahara Desert. He is best known for a brief career in top-flight Italian football which was cut short by a failed drugs test, as well as his playboy lifestyle.
A New York Times in-depth report found no proof that al-Qaeda or any international terrorist groups played any role in the Benghazi attack, which killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
A senior Obama administration official said the White House does not dispute the article published Saturday about the 2012 attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
The six-part report goes on to say that an American-made video mocking Islam largely triggered the attack, which was not well-planned.
“The attack was led, instead, by fighters who had benefited directly from NATO’s extensive air power and logistics support during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi,” the Times report reads, referring to the late Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi.
A New York Times in-depth report found no proof that al-Qaeda or any international terrorist groups played any role in the Benghazi attack
“And contrary to claims by some members of Congress, it was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.”
The Times said its investigation took months and was “centered on extensive interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the attack there and its context.”
It is not surprising the White House would welcome this report. Since the attack, Republicans have accused the Obama administration of downplaying the perpetrators’ links to al-Qaeda for political gain. The attack took place during the last leg of the 2012 presidential campaign.
Then UN Ambassador Susan Rice (now the national security advisor) became a lightning rod of criticism after appearing on all the Sunday talk shows shortly after the Benghazi attack and arguing it was the result of the American-made video.
Republicans have also held several hearings into the administration’s handling of the attack and its aftermath.
Libya’s PM Ali Zeidan has said his brief kidnap this week was an “attempted coup”, blaming his political opponents for the attack.
In a TV address to the nation, Ali Zeidan said an unnamed political party in the congress was behind the abduction.
Ali Zeidan was seized from a Tripoli hotel on Thursday and held for several hours by armed militiamen.
He praised the armed groups that came to rescue him and later called for calm in the increasingly lawless country.
In the TV address with members of his cabinet standing staunchly around him, Ali Zeidan said that his kidnap “bears the hallmarks of an attempted coup d’etat against legitimacy”.
Ali Zeidan has said his brief kidnap this week was an “attempted coup”, blaming his political opponents for the attack
“A political party”, he said, was behind what he described as the “criminal and terrorist act”.
Referring to his political opponents as a “dangerous minority”, Ali Zeidan said they had tried to secure enough votes in the congress to have him dismissed.
“When they failed to bring down the government through democratic means, they resorted to the use of force,” he added.
Ali Zeidan has previously spoken of the conservative parties in the assembly trying to undermine his government, and many now will be watching to see if this latest short-lived abduction will become a game-changer in Libya’s political landscape, our correspondent adds.
The US, UK and France, along with the UN, have condemned the abduction and pledged their support for Libya’s transition to democracy.
The motive of the abduction is unclear but some militias had been angered by last Saturday’s US commando raid in Tripoli to capture senior al-Qaeda suspect Anas al-Liby.
Many militias are under the pay of the defense or interior ministries – in the absence of an effective police force or military – but their allegiance and who really controls them is in doubt.
Libya’s Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has called for “rationality and wisdom” after being freed from the custody of militiamen.
Ali Zeidan was abducted from a Tripoli hotel and held for several hours by armed men whose identity has yet to be confirmed.
In a cabinet meeting, PM Ali Zeidan thanked “real revolutionaries” who took part in a security operation to free him.
The motive of the abduction is unclear but some militias had been angered by a US commando raid to capture senior al-Qaeda suspect Anas al-Liby.
Many militia groups saw the raid in Tripoli on Saturday as a breach of Libyan sovereignty and there is growing pressure on the government to explain if it was involved.
One group, the Libya Revolutionaries Operations Room (LROR), said it had captured Ali Zeidan, claiming it was acting on orders from the prosecutor general. But the justice ministry denied this.
The LROR said its actions had not been related to Anas al-Liby’s detention.
The official Lana news agency also named another formal rebel group, the Brigade for the Fight against Crime, as being involved.
Ali Zeidan has called for “rationality and wisdom” after being freed from the custody of militiamen
Two years after the overthrow of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, Libya still has no constitution and divisions between secular and Islamist forces have paralyzed parliament.
The government has been struggling to contain the numerous militias who control many parts of the country.
Ali Zeidan’s cabinet meeting following his release was shown live on Libya’s al-Ahrar television.
He thanked those who had helped free him but gave no details about them or the abductors.
He said: “I salute the revolutionaries who had an important role. The real revolutionaries, those who rose above greedy demands, I salute them for what they did in this affair.”
Ali Zeidan urged them to “assimilate into the state, and play an active role in it through its civilian and military institutions”.
He added: “Only with an army and the police can a state exist.”
The prime minister said of his capture: “These are accidental things from the revolution’s overflow and they will disappear.”
Ali Zeidan also said Libya would “regain its health” and be “an active, positive nation”.
He assured foreigners the incident had happened “within the context of Libyan political wrangles”.
Ali Zeidan ended by calling for “caution and rationality in handling this matter”.
He had been taken in a pre-dawn raid on the Corinthia Hotel by more than 100 armed men.
Photographs circulating online showed Ali Zeidan being surrounded and led away. There were no reports of violence during his capture.
The prime minister was reportedly held at the interior ministry anti-crime department in Tripoli, where an official said he was treated well.
In a news conference shortly before the release was announced, the government condemned the “criminal act” of his detention and said it would not give in to “blackmail”.
The LROR is one of a number of militias operating in Libya which are nominally attached to government ministries but often act independently and, correspondents say, often have the upper hand over police and army forces.
Susan Rice, the US ambassador at the UN, is to become President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, officials say.
Susan Rice will replace Tom Donilon, who is set to announce shortly he is resigning after almost three years in the post.
She was once seen as a contender for the job of secretary of state, but was forced to withdraw after opposition from Republicans in Congress.
Susan Rice, 48, was criticized for her remarks after Benghazi attack on diplomats in Libya.
Susan Rice is to become President Barack Obama’s national security adviser
She suggested the assault by armed men on the US embassy in the city of Benghazi in September 2012 sprang from a spontaneous protest over a US-made film depicting the Prophet Muhammad – an account which was later proven to be incorrect.
The attack left four Americans dead, including the US ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens.
Susan Rice is seen by analysts as a close political ally of Barack Obama.
Her new post as national security adviser does not require Senate confirmation. Tom Donilon is expected to remain in the role until July.
President Barack Obama is also expected to announce who will replace Susan Rice as Washington’s envoy to the UN at its headquarters in New York.
A car bomb has exploded outside the French embassy in the Libyan capital Tripoli, wounding two guards and causing extensive damage.
The blast completely destroyed the embassy’s reception area and parts of neighboring homes.
One official told Reuters news agency: “We think it was a booby-trapped car.”
An investigation is under way into what French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called an “odious act”.
A car bomb has exploded outside the French embassy in the Libyan capital Tripoli, wounding two guards and causing extensive damage
Laurent Fabius said French officials were working with the Libyan authorities to identify those responsible.
The explosion happened shortly after 07:00 in a smart, residential area of Tripoli.
The blast took place in a small side street, causing extensive damage to the buildings and parked cars.
Diplomatic missions in Libya have been attacked in the past, the most notable being the US consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi in September 2012 that led to the death of its ambassador Christopher Stevens and three Americans.
This is the first major attack on a foreign embassy in the Libyan capital, observers say.
CBS has quietly released an interview with President Barack Obama which was filmed one day after the attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi – and in which he refuses to call the incident an act of terrorism.
The footage, released seven weeks after it was filmed, shows Barack Obama contradicting himself yet again on the attack that left ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead.
When exactly Barack Obama called the September 11 al Qaeda attack in Libya “terrorism” has become an increasingly contentious area of debate – and the interview throws doubt on the president’s previous and later claims.
At the second presidential debate in October, Barack Obama claimed he had first called the incident an act of terrorism during his Rose Garden speech just hours after the attack.
But the newly-released footage, filmed 12 hours after the Rose Garden appearance, shows he was still apprehensive about the label.
“Mr. President, this morning you went out of your way to avoid the use of the word terrorism in connection with the Libya Attack, do you believe that this was a terrorism attack?” interviewer Steve Kroft asked in the 60 Minutes interview.
“Well it’s too early to tell exactly how this came about, what group was involved,” he responded.
“But obviously it was an attack on Americans. And we are going to be working with the Libyan government to make sure that we bring these folks to justice, one way or the other.”
Obama refuses to call Libyan embassy attack an act of terrorism during 60 Minutes interview
Steve Kroft continued: “It’s been described as a mob action, but there are reports that they were very heavily armed with grenades, that doesn’t sound like your normal demonstration.”
Barack Obama responded: “As I said, we’re still investigating exactly what happened, I don’t want to jump the gun on this… And my suspicion is there are folks involved in this. Who were looking to target Americans from the start.”
The interview previously aired on October 19, but this section was edited out, Bret Baier reported on Fox. CBS only released this footage on Sunday – more than seven weeks after the interview.
The network even failed to offer it up when questions were raised during the presidential debate over whether he had called the attack terrorism before blaming it on rallies against an anti-Islamic film.
Moussa Ibrahim, the spokesman for late leader Muammar Gaddafi, has been captured, according to the office of Libya’s prime minister.
The office said he had been arrested by government forces in Tarhouna, 65 km (40 miles) south of Tripoli.
Other Libyan officials say they are skeptical, as such reports have proved false in the past.
The prime minister’s office did not provide any photographic or video evidence of the reported capture.
“Moussa Ibrahim has been arrested by forces belonging to the Libyan government in the town of Tarhouna and he is being transferred to Tripoli to begin interrogation,” a statement issued by the office of Prime Minister Ali Zidan said.
Moussa Ibrahim, the spokesman for late leader Muammar Gaddafi, has been captured
Tarhouna is located between Tripoli and Bani Walid – one of the last strongholds of pro-Gaddafi forces in the closing stages of last year’s conflicts.
During the war in Libya last year, Moussa Ibrahim held regular press conferences in Tripoli at the Rixos hotel, which was used by many international journalists.
He was last seen there shortly before the fall of Tripoli in August 2011.
The reported taking of Moussa Ibrahim comes on the first anniversary of Col. Gaddafi’s capture. The latter was seized and killed near his hometown of Sirte.
Interim leader Mohammed Magarief said that one year on, the country has not yet been fully liberated.
Militia groups which helped to defeat pro-Gaddafi forces remain powerful in many parts of the country. There have been clashes between militias in Bani Walid in recent days.
Libya has made several arrests in connection with the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi in which Ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed.
New Libyan Prime Minister Mustafa Abu Shaqur said the investigation was making progress.
The attack happened on Tuesday during protests over a US-made film that mocks the Prophet Mohammed.
Similar protests have spread across the Middle East and North Africa. Further unrest is expected at Friday prayers.
Clashes between riot police and protesters continued overnight in the Egyptian capital Cairo, where Islamist groups and others have called for a peaceful “million-man march” later on Friday.
US President Barack Obama has promised to do whatever is necessary to protect US citizens abroad and said he was urging foreign governments to guarantee their security.
A White House statement said he had thanked Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi for condemning an attack on the US embassy there and for launching an investigation.
“President Obama expressed appreciation for the co-operation we have received from the Yemeni government and underscored the importance of working together to ensure the security of US personnel,” the statement said.
Libya has made several arrests in connection with the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi
In Benghazi, US and Libyan officials are investigating the possibility that heavily armed militants used the protest as a pretext for a co-ordinated assault.
Libyan officials say those arrested are being interrogated on suspicion of having instigated the attack.
Four embassy staff died, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
PM Mustafa Abu Shaqur blamed the attack on “criminals” and said anger against the film could not justify it.
“The people, they don’t understand that such a case like this, the American government has nothing to do with it,” he said.
“Somebody made a film and they put it on YouTube. It was very offensive for sure but that doesn’t justify taking this wild actions against Americans or American embassies. People can come out and demonstrate and express their opinion peacefully.”
Following the attack, some Libyans have taken part in rallies in Benghazi and Tripoli denouncing the violence.
Libyan Deputy Interior Minister Wanis al-Sharif told reporters that those arrested had been taken from their homes on Thursday but gave no further details.
No group has said it carried out the attack and Wanis al-Sharif said it was too early to say if those arrested belonged to a particular organization.
Meanwhile, further protests against the US-made film are expected on Friday.
In Yemen, demonstrators briefly stormed the grounds of the US embassy in Sanaa on Thursday and burnt the US flag before being driven back by security forces.
A White House spokesman said all those working in the embassy were safe and accounted for.
In Egypt, 224 people were injured in protests outside the US embassy in Cairo on Thursday, with some demonstrators demanding the expulsion of the ambassador. Police vehicles were set alight.
Egyptian media said that as night fell on Thursday, police were continuing to fire tear gas at stone-throwing protesters.
Calls for a million-man march in Cairo came from The Muslim Brotherhood, the Salafist al-Nour party and non-religious groups including the “Ultra” fans of Zamalek football club.
They said they had invited Muslims, Coptic Christians and all Egyptian citizens to join them.
President Mohammed Mursi said Egyptians rejected “any kind of assault or insult” against the Prophet Muhammad, but appealed for calm.
Small protests have also been reported in Bangladesh, Iraq, Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia, and security has been increased at US embassies and consulates around the world.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has condemned the film, entitled Innocence of Muslims, as “disgusting” and “reprehensible” but said it was no excuse for violence.
The film was shot in the US and posted online earlier this year. It depicts the Prophet Muhammad as a womanizer and the bloodthirsty leader of a ragtag group of men who enjoy killing.
However, the film’s exact origin and the motivation behind its production remain a mystery.
Some of the actors involved have since condemned the film, saying they had no idea it was to be used as anti-Islam propaganda.