May 25, 2013
US embassies attacked in Yemen, Egypt after Libya envoy killed
Demonstrators attacked the US embassies in Yemen and Egypt today in protest at a film they consider blasphemous to Islam and American warships headed to Libya following the death of the US ambassador there in related violence earlier in the week.
Hundreds of Yemeni demonstrators broke through the main gate of the heavily fortified compound in eastern Sanaa, shouting "We sacrifice ourselves for you, Messenger of God". Earlier they smashed windows of security offices outside the embassy and burned cars.
"We can see a fire inside the compound and security forces are firing in the air. The demonstrators are fleeing and then charging back," one witness reporters. A security source said at least 15 people were wounded, some by bullets. An embassy spokesman said its personnel were reported to be safe.
In Egypt, protesters hurled stones at a police cordon around the US embassy in central Cairo after climbing into the embassy and tearing down the American flag. The state news agency said 13 people were injured in violence which erupted on Wednesday night after protests on Tuesday.
A day earlier, Islamist gunmen staged a military-style assault on the US consulate and a safe house refuge in Benghazi, eastern Libya. The US ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans died in the assault, carried out with guns, mortars and grenades. Eight Libyans were injured.
US President Barack Obama vowed to "bring to justice" the Islamist gunmen responsible and the US military moved two navy destroyers towards the Libyan coast, in what a US official said was a move to give the administration flexibility for any future action against Libyan targets.
The military also dispatched a Marine Corps anti-terrorist security team to boost security in Libya, whose leader Muammar Gaddafi was ousted in a US-backed uprising last year.
The attack, which US officials said may have been planned in advance, came on the 11th anniversary of al Qaeda's attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.