Middle East Current Events
Anti-U.S. protests in the Middle East over a film mocking Islam's Prophet Mohammad continued with clashes at the U.S. embassy in Yemen killing one protester.
Police and security guards of the embassy fired at protesters who broke through the main gate of the heavily fortified compound in eastern Sanaa killing one of the intruders, according to a security official.
The protesters removed the embassy's sign on the outerwall, smashed the security offices with stones and burned diplomatic cars as they stormed the compound. The angry mob also took down the U.S. flag, burned it and replaced it with a black banner with the words "There is no God but Allah" in Arabic, witnesses said.
Fifteen protesters also were injured when security forces fired guns, tear gas and water cannon to drive the rioters out. After being driven out, the protesters regrouped and stormed the embassy again
No embassy staff was harmed during the violence as protesters did not reach the main building. A dozen people were later arrested.
Yemen President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi condemned the attack on the embassy and set up a committee to investigate the incident.
In Egypt, demonstrators clashed with police outside the U.S. embassy in Cairo and in Tahrir Square. Police fired tear gas against stone-throwing protesters calling for the expulsion of the American ambassador and ban on the film "Innocence of Muslims," which depicts the Prophet Mohammad as a philanderer and gay. Two police cars were also burned during the clashes.
Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi, who is in Brussels, called on Egyptians to stop attacking embassies while condemning the film reportedly produced by an American filmmaker, Israelis and Coptic Christians in Middle Eastern countries. The White House quoted Morsi as assuring the safety of American embassy personnel.
The anti-U.S. demonstration in Cairo started on Tuesday when protesters attacked the U.S. embassy and replaced the U.S. flag with the Islamic banner.
Protesters in Tunis, Tunisia and Gaza City burned U.S. flags and shouted anti-U.S. slogans on Thursday.
In Tehran, Iran, 500 students chanted "Death to America" and death to the movie director, Sam Bacile, outside the Swiss embassy, which handles U.S. interests in the country as Iran and the U.S. have no diplomatic ties. The protesters also burned a U.S. flag and shouted anti-Israeli slogans before dispersing.
In Iraq, hundreds of supporters of radical Shiite cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr protested in Najaf, 90 miles south of Baghdad. The protesters, surrounded by security forces, read a statement from Sadr urging the government to ban American visitors to the country.
The posting of excerpts of "Innocence of Muslims" on YouTube and the circulation of a version dubbed in Arabic in Egypt sparked the attacks on the U.S. embassies in Cairo and Benghazi, Libya on Tuesday. Libyan protesters set the U.S. embassy on fire that killed American Amb. Christopher Stevens and three other people.
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