Western embassies stormed in Sudan, Tunisia as anti-U.S. protests spread
One killed in Sudan, at least three killed, 28 wounded in Tunisia, one killed, 25 wounded in Lebanon; Pentagon says sent Marines to Yemen as 'precautionary measure.'
Three people were killed in Sudan and at least three were killed and twenty wounded in Tunisia on Friday, when angry protesters stormed the German, British and U.S. embassies in Khartoum, and the U.S. embassy in Tunis.
The protests in Sudan and Tunisia were part of a wider wave of anti-American demonstrations that spread across the Muslim world after Friday prayers. These protests were related to a video that was deemed offensive of the Muslim prophet Mohammed.
Police fired teargas to stop some 5,000 demonstrators storming the German and British embassies in Sudan, a witness said. After hurling stones at the two embassies, which are next to each other in Khartoum, protesters stormed the main gates and were able to break into the German Embassy. The protesters pulled down the embassy's emblem, raised an Islamic flag, broke windows and started a fire in front of the main gate.
"The German embassy in Khartoum is currently the target of attacks by aggressive protesters," German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in a statement.
"The Sudanese ambassador was summoned this morning. His nation's duty to protect diplomatic missions was clearly explained to him," Westerwelle said, adding that diplomats were safe.
Later, Sudanese protesters jumped over the wall into the U.S. embassy, and there were reports of gunfire at the embassy compound. Protesters hosted an Islamic flag after breaching an outer security wall, the witness said.
A hospital doctor later said that one of the protesters was killed. "We just got one dead body brought in," said the doctor at a Khartoum hospital, who declined to be identified.
A Reuters reporter earlier saw two protesters lying on the ground covered in blood in front of the U.S. embassy, where police had fired tear gas to try to disperse thousands of protesters.
Later, state media reported that at least three protesters were killed in total.
In Tunisia, a witness told Reuters that protesters jumped over the wall of the U.S. embassy in the capital Tunis, set fire to trees and smashed windows. At least twenty protesters were wounded by police gunfire near the embassy, and there were reports of a large fire in the compound. It was not immediately clear if police fired live rounds or rubber bullets.
Protesters also set fire to the American School in the Tunisian capital. The school was closed on Friday. "(U.S. President Barack) Obama, Obama, we are all Osamas," the protesters chanted, in reference to the slain al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.
State television reported that at least three were killed and 28 were wounded in the protests.
Earlier, in Lebanon's northern city of Tripoli, at least one person was killed and 25 wounded during clashes with police.
In East Jerusalem, hundreds of Muslim worshippers clashed with police after Friday prayers.
In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood called for a nationwide protest on Friday. Protesters clashed with police in Cairo, who were blocking their way to the U.S. Embassy, which was attacked earlier this week.
In Nigeria, troops fired live rounds to disperse Muslims protesting in the volatile central city of Jos. Scores of demonstrators distributed photographs printed out from the trailer of the film after Friday prayers in the city.
In Yemen, security forces shot live rounds in the air and fired tear gas at a crowd of around 2,000 protesters trying to march to the U.S. Embassy in the capital Sanaa.
The Pentagon said on Friday that a platoon of Marines with the fleet anti-terrorism security team have been sent to Yemen to bolster security at the embassy and are now on the ground in Sanaa.
"This is partly a response to events over the past two days at our embassy in Yemen but it's also in part a precautionary measure," Pentagon spokesman George Little told reporters.
Little also said that protests in Afghanistan have so far been peaceful, and expressed appreciation for calls by religious leaders for a non-violent response to the movie.
"We're gratified based on what we know now that religious leaders have appealed for non-violent protests, if protests are going to happen," Little said.