KHARTOUM - Sudanese demonstrators broke into the German embassy in Khartoum on Friday, raising an Islamic flag and setting the building on fire in a protest against a film that demeaned the Prophet Mohammad, witnesses said.

Police had earlier fired tear gas to try to disperse some 5,000 protesters who had ringed the German embassy and nearby British mission. But a Reuters witness said policemen just stood by when the crowd forced its way into Germany's mission.

Demonstrators hoisted a black Islamic flag saying in white letters "there is no God but God and Mohammed is his prophet," They smashed windows, cameras and furniture in the building and then started a fire, witnesses said.

Firefighters arrived to put out the flames.

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