Germany Closes Embassies in Muslim Countries
2012-09-20 0:00


The German government expects further violence in the Muslim world following Friday prayers and will close its embassies in the region as a precaution. Personnel have been instructed to stay home and security may be increased in some places, the Foreign Ministry in Berlin said on Thursday.

Amid fears of more violent protests in the Muslim world, the German government has announced it will close its diplomatic missions in the region on Friday, the Islamic holy day.

A Sudanese demonstrator stands in front of the burning German embassy in Khartoum after Friday prayers September 14, 2012.

With further escalation of protests expected after Friday prayers, Berlin is also considering whether to provide additional security for German diplomatic facilities, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said.

Many embassies are closed on Fridays in the Islamic world in honor of the holy day to begin with, but a number of German diplomats have received specific instructions to avoid embassies that day. "We have intensified security precautions everywhere in the region, and in some cases increased security personnel too," Westerwelle said.

The news came as backlash continued against the controversial anti-Islam film "Innocence of Muslims," followed by additional unrest in reaction to the publication of Muhammad caricatures by French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo , which added fuel to the fire on Wednesday. Paris subsequently announced it would shutter its embassies in sensitive areas on Friday as a precaution too.


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