Kabul film protesters fire weapons and set cars alight

Afghan protesters shout slogans during a demonstration in Kabul on Sunday Hundreds of people had protested peacefully over the weekend

More than 1,000 people in the Afghan capital Kabul are taking part in an angry demonstration against a film mocking Islam which has given rise to protests around the world.

The demonstration is close to US and Nato installations in Kabul.

The Kabul police chief said he had been injured by a rock thrown by a protester. Other protesters fired guns, and police vehicles were set alight.

Lebanese militant group Hezbollah has called for a week of protests.

The leader of the influential Shia Muslim group, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, said the world needed to know Muslims "would not be silent in the face of this insult".

The first protest has been called for Monday afternoon in a southern suburb of Beirut which is a Hezbollah stronghold.

Sheikh Nasrallah - who said he had waited for the Pope to finish a visit before speaking out - branded the video the most dangerous insult to Islam ever.

It was worse, he said, than Salman Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses and the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, which were published in a Danish newspaper in 2005.

'Death to America!'

In Kabul, black smoke from burning tyres streamed into the air, and shopkeepers hurriedly locked up and went home, as the protest gathered pace, reports said.

Protesters shouted "Death to America!" and "Death to those people who have made a film and insulted our Prophet!", reported news agency Associated Press.

There was a heavy presence of riot police and Afghan national police guarding the US embassy, said the BBC's Bilal Sarwary at the scene.

Kabul's police chief, Gen Ayub Salangi, told the BBC: "Some of the armed demonstrators continue to fire. There are agitators among demonstrators. I have ordered police not to open fire.

"They have thrown rocks and stones at us. I was hit and injured myself."

Protests over the film at the centre of the row, many of which target US diplomatic missions, have shown no sign of abating so far.

At least one person was killed in clashes between protesters and police in Pakistan on Sunday. There were also protests in some European capitals.

On Monday authorities set up street barriers in Pakistan's biggest city, Karachi, to try to keep anticipated demonstrations under control.

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