An attack in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province on Saturday, claimed by the Afghan Taliban, was an act of revenge for a film that insults Islam and the Prophet Mohammed.
At least two U.S. Marines died when militants attacked the perimeter of the Camp Bastion in Helmand province with mortar, rocket-propelled grenade and small fire arms.
“The aim of this attack was revenge against Americans for the anti-Prophet movie,” said Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf, according to Reuters.
Yousuf also told the BBC that the target of the attacks was U.S. and UK soldiers.
The assault also wounded several servicemen.
U.S. President Barack Obama has vowed to “stand fast” against violence which has been spreading since the amateurish film of obscure origin triggered an attack on the U.S. consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi that killed the ambassador and three other Americans on Sept. 11.
Protests against the video - Innocence of Muslims - began on Tuesday in Egypt. On Friday, at least seven people died in escalating unrest in Khartoum, Tunis and Cairo.
In Afghanistan, Britain’s Prince Harry was at Camp Bastion at the time of the attack, but was unharmed.
Earlier this week, the Afghan Taliban said they were doing everything in their power to either kill or kidnap Queen Elizabeth’s grandson in what they dubbed their “Harry Operations.”
“Prince Harry was never in any danger,” Martyn Crighton, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), said, adding that it would investigate whether his presence on the base had motivated the attack.
ISAF has not confirmed the nationality of the two people killed in the attack on the base.
A spokesman for the Helmand governor said 17 bodies had been discovered and they were all thought to be insurgents killed in the fighting.
Al-Qaeda urges Muslims to kill U.S. diplomats
Meanwhile, the Yemen-based branch of al-Qaeda urged Muslims to step up protests and kill more U.S. diplomats in Muslim countries after it said the anti-Islam film was another chapter in the “crusader wars” against Islam.
“Whoever comes across America’s ambassadors or emissaries should follow the example of Omar al-Mukhtar’s descendants ( Libyans), who killed the American ambassador,” the group said, referring to Tuesday’s attack on the U.S. consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi.
“Let the step of kicking out the embassies be a step towards liberating Muslim countries from the American hegemony,” a statement posted on an Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) website on Saturday said.
“The film published in America which insults our Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, comes as part of the continuing crusader wars against Islam,” AQAP’s statement said, referring to European wars in the region some 1,000 years ago.