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Violent protests erupt at US embassies in Egypt, Yemen, Iran

Protests sparked by an anti-Islam film continued in Egypt, and spread to Yemen, Iran and Iraq, claiming lives.

The US embassies in Egypt and Yemen were stormed today in continued protest against an anti-Islam film suspected of contributing to a deadly attack on the US embassy in Libya on Tuesday, according to The New York Times.

At least five people were killed during the protests in Yemen, the Times reported.

Protests at the Swiss Embassy in Tehran, which represents the US in Iran, drew about 500 people, The New York Times said. BBC News said protests have also been reported in Morocco, Sudan, and Tunisia, while the Associated Press reported protests in Baghdad calling for the US Embassy's closure.

More from GlobalPost: A clash of civilizations? Not so much

Part of a crowd of several thousand broke their way into the security area of the US embassy in Sanaa and have since been pushed back, according to Agence-France Presse.

According to Yemeni security officials, the violent clashes left four protesters dead. Yemen's Defense Ministry reported that 24 security force members were reported injured in the clashes, along with 11 protesters, said CNN.

Yemen's state news said President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi apologized for the actions of the "mob" and ordered an investigation, reported CNN.

BBC News said demonstrators set cars on fire inside the embassy complex, prompting police to use tear gas and water cannons to drive back the crowds.

CBS News reported that an elite Marine anti-terrorist team has landed in Yemen, similar to the one sent to Libya earlier this week to protect and evacuate diplomatic personnel.

More from GlobalPost: What's behind the anti-US protests in Yemen?

Meanwhile, in Cairo, police resorted to using tear gas and firing rounds in an attempt to discourage unrest, said Reuters. The health ministry said 224 people were injured in the protests, according to the BBC.

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi denounced demonstrations that used violence against diplomatic missions or embassies but said people should have the "freedom to protest," reported Reuters.

Morsi has been criticized for not taking a firmer stance on the violence but the demonstrations have the support of his own Muslim Brotherhood (more on that here). 

Hundreds of Egyptians protested outside the embassy in Cairo on Wednesday, a day after they ripped down the US flag at the consulate, while a crowd of some 100 strong continued demonstrations there today, according to CNN

Similar protests were believed to have contributed to Tuesday's violence at the US embassy in Libya's Benghazi, where US ambassador Chris Stevens and three consulate staffers were killed.

The film in question, misleadingly titled "Innocence of Muslim" and only recently dubbed into Arabic, has led to outrage over its open mockery of Muslim values (see trailer), but it is not yet clear who actually made the movie and some suggest it may not even exist in full. 

US investigators have also said the Libya attack, which appeared spontaneously tied to local demonstrations over the film, may have used the unrest as a cover for an operation planned in advance. 

Tuesday's violence in Libya came as the US marked the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in New York City. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/120913/violent-protests-erupt-at-us-embassies-egypt-yemen

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Jamie H More than 1 year ago
If anyone is looking for more information/analysis on the protests Democracy Now! is interviewing reporters Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Iona Craig who are reporting directly from from Cairo and Sana'a in Yemen respectively. They're also going to be talking to Islam Scholar Tariq Ramadan, who's a professor at Oxford University and author of "Islam and the Arab Awakening." You can check it out at http://www.democracynow.org