US shuts its consulate in Indonesia amid film protests

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Indonesian Muslims burn an American flag during a protest against an American-made film that ridicules Prophet Muhammad outside the U.S. Consulate in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012. Indonesians continue to protest the anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims,” torching the flag and tires outside the consulate in the country’s third largest city of Medan. AP/Binsar Bakkara

MEDAN, Indonesia — The U.S. has temporarily closed its consulate in Indonesia’s third-largest city due to ongoing protests over an anti-Islam film produced in the United States.

About 300 members of the pan-Islamic movement Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia rallied Wednesday morning in front of the consulate in Medan, the capital of North Sumatra province. Later, about 50 Muslim students also protested there. Both groups called on Washington to punish the makers of the film, “Innocence of Muslims.”

It was the third consecutive day of protests in Medan.

The U.S. Embassy in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta sent a text message to U.S. citizens saying the consulate has been closed temporarily because of the demonstrations.

Wednesday’s protests at the consulate were peaceful. On Monday, protesters hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails outside the embassy in Jakarta.

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