Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 6:19 am
More than 500 people presumed to be university students today broke through police barricades and got into Islamabad's diplomatic enclave as they protested against the anti-Islam video that has sparked sometimes deadly demonstrations in many Muslim nations, NPR's Jackie Northam reports from the Pakistani capital.
Jackie tells the NPR Newscast desk that "the sheer number overwhelmed riot police guarding the area." The students, she says, "surrounded the security forces and began hurling stones. Riot police fired tear gas at the protesters, and some live rounds, into the air above the crowd."
Pakistan's Dawn newspaper puts the number of protesters at "around 1,000" and says many were "armed with wooden clubs."
As for the protests that have been staged over the past week or so, NBC News today looks at why many analysts believe there's been quite a bit of "manufactured outrage."
"The real driving force behind the protest[s] — in Cairo and Benghazi [where they began] — were radical Islamist groups who know how to exploit rage for political gain," NBC writes.
Update at 8:15 a.m. ET: Jackie now also reports that there were about 1,000 people involved in the protest and she has sent in some photos taken for NPR. We've added one to the top of this post.
She also adds that the Pakistani government has declared Friday a public holiday — officially, to honor the Prophet Muhammad. Major demonstrations are expected.