JAKARTA, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- The United States temporarily closed its consulate office in Medan, the third-largest city in Indonesia, on Wednesday due to protests over anti-Muslims movie produced in the United States, a statement from the U.S. embassy office in Jakarta said.
The statement advised U.S. citizens to avoid large crowds and other gatherings that might turn violent. "The American Presence Post in Medan is temporarily closed pending the finish of planned demonstrations on Sept. 19. We advise, as always, that people should avoid large crowds and other gatherings that might turn violent,"the statement said. "U.S. citizens living and traveling in Indonesia are urged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program and update their contact information with the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, U.S. Consulate General Surabaya, U.S. Consulate in Medan or U.S. Consular Agency in Bali," it said.
Hundreds of members of Islamic group of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia staged rally outside the consulate in Medan, capital of North Sumatra province, on Wednesday morning. Over 50 students also took part in the action, blocking the road in front of the embassy.
They demanded the U.S. government to punish the producer of the movie that has ridiculed Prophet Muhammad. It was the third protest outside the consulate.
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has denounced the movie for blasphemy on Islam which sparked deadly repercussion.
The publication of the movie has triggered protests in Jakarta and other parts of the country. Indonesian Minister for Politics, Legal and Security Affairs Djoko Suyanto called on protesters to carry out demonstrations peacefully.
Indonesia has the world's largest Muslim population with 80 percent of its 240 million people being Muslims.