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2012 Attacks on US Embassies


Protests against a US film titled 'Innocence of Muslims' which was deemed blasphemous to the Prophet Mohammad was witnessed in several nations in September 2012. Several demonstrators staged protests and attacked US embassies in several nations including Egypt, Yemen and Libya.

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Innocence of Muslims

The protests were the reaction of a YouTube clip that is a trailer of the film Innocence of Muslims. The protests initially began in Cairo, Egypt and Libya and quickly spread in the Middle East and the rest of the world.

Attack on US Embassies

The American Government has issued emergency warnings to over 65 of its embassies all over the world. The Pentagon has sent marines to protect its embassies in Yemen and Sudan.

Attack on US Embassies in Libya

Demonstrators staged protests and attacked the US Embassies in Libya on September 11, 2012. US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens was killed by a rocket attack in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi. Three other staff members of the US embassy - Sean Smith, Glen A. Doherty and Tyrone S. Woods were also killed in the attack. American President Barack Obama and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the attack. This is the first time that a US ambassador was killed in over 30 years.

The bodies of the four Americans killed in the American consulate attack at Benghazi, Libya were brought to the United States on September 14, 2012. President Barack Obama mourned the loss. He said, "Four Americans, four patriots -- they loved this country and they chose to serve it, and served it well. . . . They didn't simply embrace the American ideal. They lived it,"Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan also paid tribute to the loss of the four Americans.

The Libyan authorities have arrested about 50 people after the last week attack on the US consulate attack. President of the Libyan National Congress Mohammed al-Megaryef confirmed that the number of those arrested reached 50 on September 16, 2012.

On 8 December 2012, the Egyptian authorities have arrested Gamal Abu Ahmed, who is allegedly linked to the attack on the American embassy in Libya.

Attack on US Embassy in Egypt

More protests were witnessed near the US embassies in Yemen and Egypt in protest of a film that was considered blasphemous to Islam. Hundreds of protesters stormed the main gate of the US embassy compound in eastern Sanaa on September 13, 2012. They smashed the windows of security officers outside the embassy and burned cars.

Protesters hurled stones at the US embassy in Cairo. They climbed into the embassy and tore down the American flag. 13 people were injured in the violence. Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi condemned the attack.

Police have cleared the crowd in Central Cairo after several days of clashes. The protests started Tuesday when young men scaled the wall in Tahir Square and tore down the American flag. Over 50 people have been detained in connection with the violence.

Attack on US Embassy in Yemen

A protester was shot dead by the Yemeni police on September 13, 2012 when the demonstrators tried to storm the US embassy in Sanaa. Five others were wounded in the incident. The crowd tried to storm the embassy earlier but were ejected. President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi apologized to US President Barack Obama. Three vehicles were being torched by the angry mob.

Protests near US Consulate in Chennai, India

Over 1500 activists of Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam staged protests in front of the US Consulate in Chennai, India on September 14, 2012. A few Muslim outfits also took part in the demonstrations. The mob pelted stones, burnt the American flag and tore pictures of US President Barack Obama. They also damaged CCTV cameras and vandalized a police booth.

Earlier, a large group of people staged a march from New College in Royapettah towards the Consulate. The security personnel at the consulate shut the doors to stop the mob from entering the consulate. A large number of police personnel led by the Additional Commissioner of Police, Law and Order (in-charge) Sanjay Arora dispersed the crowds at 5:30 pm.

The US Consulate in Chennai has shut down its visa section for two days starting September 18, following protests at the consulate over the anti-Islam film. There have been protests at the consulate since September 14. A political outfit is planning to hold a demonstration on September 18 prompting the authorities to shut down its visa section.

US orders Diplomats out of Sudan and Tunisia

The US State Department issued a warning and ordered the departure of all family members and non-essential US government personnel from its embassies in Sudan and Tunisia. US also issued a travel advisory and warned US citizens against traveling to the two countries. American citizens were advised to board the commercial flight in Tunis, Tunisia which is open.

Attack on US Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia

Protesters climbed the walls into the US Embassy in Tunis on September 14, 2012. They torched cars in the parking lot and trashed the entrance building. They also set a gym and an American school on fire.

Attacks on other Diplomatic Properties

The diplomatic missions of Britain and Germany were also attacked. Part of a German Embassy in Sudan is torched.

Reactions

Several world leaders have appealed for peace and calm and asked the demonstrators to show restraint.

US President Barack Obama condemned the attacks, while US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has distanced the US government from the film.

President Barack Obama has mourned the loss of four American employees including the Ambassador to Libya who died in a rocket attack on September 11, 2012. The bodies were brought to the United States on September 14, 2012. While mourning the loss, Obama vowed to stand fast against the anti-US violence.

The White House has asked Google to reconsider its decision to keep the video clip online. Google however rejected the request.

Egypt president Mahmoud Morsi also condemned the attacks and appealed for peace.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has spoken to top officials of seven countries to discuss the situation on September 15, 2012. She spoke to Prime Minister of Libya, President of Somalia, Foreign Ministers of Britain, Egypt, France, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Speaking to the Prime Minister of Libya Mustafa Abushagur, Clinton stressed the importance of bringing US consulate attackers in Libya to justice.

Al-Qaeda calls for more attacks on US Consulates

Al-Qaeda in the Middle East has called for more attacks on US Embassies on Saturday. On the other hand, senior Muslim religious authorities issued messages of peace and appealed to the Muslims not to resort to violence. US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that he is confident that those responsible to the attack on US consulate in Libya that killed four Americans including its Ambassador Chris Stevens will be brought to justice.

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