BEIRUT: Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah called for a week of protests across Lebanon over a film mocking Islam, as symbols of US influence were targeted by angry Muslims in many countries across the world.
In the latest outpouring of anger, around 1,000 Afghans took to the streets of Kabul on Monday, throwing stones at a US base, torching cars and shouting "Death to America", police said.
Two police cars were among those set ablaze on Jalalabad road, where NATO and US military bases are located, Kabul police chief Mohammad Ayoub Salangi told.
Gunmen from the crowd opened fire at police, but no one was hurt, police said. "We have not shot back and we won't," Salangi said.
Burning tyres sent thick black smoke streaming into the sky and large stones littered the road as shopkeepers in the area hurriedly locked up and ran away.
Nasrallah, the head of Lebanon's powerful Shiite Muslim group, made his call for protests in a televised speech broadcast just hours after Pope Benedict XVI left Lebanon following a historic three-day visit in which he prayed that Middle East leaders would work towards peace and reconciliation.
"The whole world needs to see your anger on your faces, in your fists and your shouts," Nasrallah said, noting that he purposely postponed his call until after the pope's departure.
"The whole world should know that the Prophet (Mohammed PBUH) has followers who will not be silent in the face of humiliation," said Nasrallah.
He was referring to a low-budget trailer for a movie entitled "Innocence of Muslims", believed to have been produced by a small group of extremist Christians in the United States.
Nasrallah also called for people across the Islamic world to demonstrate against the film, which he described as "the worst attack ever on Islam, worse than the Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie, the burning of the Quran in Afghanistan and the cartoons in the European media".
Nasrallah's statement followed a call by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) on Saturday for more violence against US diplomatic missions in the Middle East and Africa, and urged attacks on US interests in the West.
Angry and often violent protests have been staged since last Tuesday outside US embassies and other American symbols, ranging from schools to fast food outlets, in at least 20 countries, with at least 17 people killed and dozens wounded in violence linked to the film.