Protesters clash with police in front of the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt
Protesters clash with police in front of the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, early Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012. Photo by AP
Text size

At least 13 people were injured Thursday in clashes outside the U.S. embassy in Cairo between Egyptian security forces and demonstrators angered by a video defaming Islam.

Police used tear gas to disperse the protesters after they threw stones and petrol bombs near the embassy, state television reported.

The demonstrators set a police van on fire and blocked a road leading to the embassy near Tahrir Square in central Cairo, according to the report.

Protesters had scaled the walls of the fortified embassy building on Tuesday and replaced the US flag with a black banner popular with radical Islamists.

The demonstrators are demanding an official U.S. apology over the video, which has sparked outrage in other Muslim countries.

U.S. President Barack Obama called on the leaders of Libya and Egypt to ensure the safety of US diplomatic facilities and personnel, the White House said Thursday, after four Americans were killed in an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

Obama "underscored the importance of Egypt following through on its commitment to cooperate with the United States in securing US diplomatic facilities and personnel," the White House statement said.

Meanwhile, Egypt's chief prosecutor, Abdul-Maguid Mahmoud, has placed US pastor Terry Jones and 10 Coptic Christians staying in the United States on a watch list at the country's border checkpoints in connection with their reported involvement in producing the "blasphemous" video, state media reported Thursday.

Jones, the obscure leader of a little-known church in Florida, has periodically provoked outrage in the Muslim world by burning or threatening to burn the Koran.

On Tuesday, the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the US, Jones praised the video, Innocence of Muslims, which he said showed "the destructive ideology of Islam."

Egypt President Mohamed Morsi said on Thursday that he supported peaceful protests, but that it was wrong to attack people or embassies.

Demonstrators had clambered into the U.S. mission in Cairo, tore down the flag and burnt it on Tuesday. In Libya, gunmen attacked the U.S. consulate, killing the U.S. ambassador and three other diplomats.

"Expressing opinion, freedom to protest and announcing positions is guaranteed but without assaulting private or public property, diplomatic missions or embassies," Morsi said in a televised statement. He pledged to protect foreigners and condemned the killing of the U.S. envoy in Libya.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Yemeni demonstrators stormed the U.S. embassy in Sanaa on Thursday in protest of the film, witnesses said.

They said the demonstrators smashed windows of the security offices outside the embassy before breaking through the main gate of the heavily fortified compound in eastern Sanaa.

Security guards opened fire and there were reports of casualties on both sides but no details were immediately available.