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Anti-American protests in Cairo persist over film

September 12, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Protesters angered by an anti-Islam film stormed the U.S. embassy in Yemen on Thursday.

No one was injured or killed in this latest siege, which took place in the capital city. Officials said demonstrators did not make it inside the compound, but they did remove the embassy sign, tear down the American flag and set several fires.

U.S. officials are bracing for possible protests across the Muslim world over an anti-Islam film blamed on an attack in Libya that killed a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

With angry protests already occurring in Yemen and Cairo, Egypt, where protesters were in the streets for nearly 24 hours, the U.S. has put all of its diplomatic missions on high alert. And Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has denounced the anti-Islam video in hopes of pre-empting further turmoil.

Egypt's ruling Muslim Brotherhood called for demonstrations after Friday prayers as did authorities in Iran and the Gaza strip. Large protests were expected in Baghdad and Iraq's second-largest city, Basra, as well as Amman, Jordan. Israel was stepping up security in anticipation of demonstrations after Muslim prayers.

The film "Innocence of Muslims" sparked the attack in Yemen, as well as two others in Libya and Egypt. Protesters are upset because they feel the movie mocks Muslims and the Prophet Muhammad.

The movie came to attention in Egypt after its trailer was dubbed into Arabic and posted on YouTube. The video-sharing website blocked access to it Wednesday. The trailer depicts Muhammad as a fraud, a womanizer and a madman in an overtly ridiculing way, showing him having sex and calling for massacres.

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has vowed not to allow attacks on foreign embassies in Cairo. Meantime, security is being strengthened at U.S. embassies and consulates around the world following Tuesday's deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya, where four Americans were killed, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

A Navy destroyer is now in the water off Libya's coast. A second warship is on its way. Over in the Philippine capital, guards and police Special Forces were seen carrying assault rifles outside the U.S. embassy.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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