Hundreds took part in an anti-Islam film protest in Sydney, surprising shoppers and catching police off guard.
The protest quickly amassed into a group of 500 people carrying signs and chanting slogans.
“We are defending our Prophet Mohammed, we are defending His honor,” said one unidentified protester.
Several streets were closed as the protesters threw bottles and trash at police, who tried to contain the demonstration using police dogs and capsicum spray.
More than a dozen ambulances attended the protest and by late afternoon four people had been taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries, a New South Wales Ambulance Service spokeswoman said.
Several people had also been treated at the scene for the effects of capsicum spray, the spokeswoman added.
A number of participants were detained, and police said they would continue to monitor the situation in Hyde Park, where the protesters gathered.
A local Muslim leader addressed the protesters in Sydney’s Hyde Park and called for calm.
The Sydney protest follows several days of anti-U.S. anger around the world over the amateurish film “Innocence of Muslims.” The video, considered blasphemous against Muhammad, is thought to have triggered a wave of protests, and is believed linked to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed the ambassador and three other Americans on September 11.
Muslims angry over the film produced in the U.S. took the streets yesterday in more than 20 countries from the Mideast to Southeast Asia.