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Middle East protests against US impacts on tourism

Middle East protests against US impacts on tourism

Travel and tourism could be impacted as violent protests continue in the Middle East, following the release of a US film depicting Islam in a negative light. Seven people were killed in the rallies on Friday, according to reports.

The film, entitled ‘innocence of Muslims, portrays the Prophet Muhammad as a womaniser and leader of a group of violent men, was distributed online with an Arabic voice-over.

Protests broke on Tuesday targeting US embassies in the Middle East in response to the release of the clips online

Three people were killed in the US embassy in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, according to reports. Meanwhile two people were killed in Tunisia with one death reported in Egypt and one in Lebanon.

The UK embassy was also targeted by protesters but was not badly damaged and no injuries were sustained.

Foreign Secretary William Hague confirmed “I am glad to say that all UK and Sudanese staff present during the attack are safe and that no injuries were sustained. All other UK staff in Khartoum are also accounted for,”

“This event is a reminder of the dangers that our diplomats around the world sometimes have to face.

Our travel advice has been updated to reflect today’s events and we advise British nationals to avoid any demonstrations or large gatherings of people, and keep themselves informed of developments, including by regularly checking the FCO website,” he added.

The protests also spread to London where up to 200 Muslims marched to the US embassy, according to reports.

While the origin of the film and its motivation is still unknown, as developments unfold in the Middle East and violence escalates, this volatile region could be dealt a blow to tourism,