The number of dead over an amateur film deriding Islam is now more than 50, one week since protests began, Russia Today reports. The latest victims were a dozen people in Kabul who killed instantly when an Afghan suicide bomber rammed a car full of explosives into their minibus.
Protests have cropped up in Thailand, where riot police formed a perimeter outside the US embassy, where hundreds of protesters marched, waving banners and chanting against America. The embassy was put on lockdown ahead of the protests, and all non-essential staff were sent away for safety.
The protests have been spreading, springing up in more than 30 countries in just one week. Violent episodes have been on the rise, with militants and terrorists seeking to capitalize on the anger. More large scale demonstrations are now planned in Iran and Lebanon, Russia Today reports.
In Lebanon, the leader of Hezbollah has asked his followers to join a week long protest against the film. According to The Times Union, he made a rare public appearance to tell a crowd of 500,000 that, "The world should know that our anger is not a passing thing. … This is the start of a serious campaign that must continue all over the Muslim world in defense of the prophet of God."
Dan Murphy of the Christian Science Monitor suggested that the number of protesters has been sensationalized, writing, "While sensational headlines have played up the story, the cumulative total of protesters so far in about 30 countries appears well under 100,000."
From Brussels, international consultant and former Speaker of the Belgium Parliament Lode Vanoost told Russia Today that these types of protests are going to continue until the root cause of them is determined and dealt with.
Violent protests began a week ago at U.S. embassies in Egypt and Libya. Four were killed in Libya, where it is rumored that the violence was a planned 9-11 attack and not necessarily attributed to the film, "Innocence of Muslims."