Hundreds of angry demonstrators marched through central Sydney, Australia on Saturday in protest of a movie that insults the prophet Mohammad.
Protestesters confronted police outside the US Consulate and proceeded to march toward the city’s Hyde Park, where they tore down barricades as shocked passersby took cover, reported AFP.
Protests have spread like wildfire throughout the Muslim world in over 20 countries, with many of the demonstrations targeting US and other Western diplomatic missions and sites.
In Sydney, protesters carried signs reading “Behead all those who insult the Prophet” and chanted “Allah is great. There is no god greater than Allah.” According to AFP, police used pepper spray to contain the mob and several people were arrested.
Six police officers were injured while attempting to control the crowd, said New South Wales Police Superintendent Mark Walton. In a photo posted on Twitter, a police officer was seen bleeding and appeared to be seriously injured.
“My information suggestions that some of these people came forearmed to cause damage and potentially conflict an assault with police,” said Walton in a statement. ” He cited bottles thrown and “other implements” that were used by the protesters against police.
The protest was apparently sparked by a mass text message saying: “We must defend the honor of our prophet, we must act now.”