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Mob attacks US consulate in Chennai

Activists of a Muslim party picketed the American consulate here on Friday and pelted stones at it, protesting against a controversial film deemed to be offensive of Islam. The slogan-shouting Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (TMMK) activists used logs besides stones to damage window panes of a structure in the front of the heavily fortified consulate, the police said.

While initially police managed to prevent activists from picketing the consulate, their numbers swelled later, allowing them to get closer to the building, police said. Scores of TMMK activists were detained, the police said.

The incident prompted the city police to review the situation and step up security for the consulate located on the arterial Anna Salai, where the protest threw traffic out of gear. Security has been stepped up for the mission, the Chennai police commissioner J K Tripathy said.

Officials at the US Consulate said that all its staff were safe.

'The protestors came around 4.15 pm and threw stones at the consulate, damaging the perimeter wall. All the staff members are safe,' a consulate spokesperson told PTI.

The TMMK president J S Ribayee said in a statement the picketing was to register their protest against the film.
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