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U.S. embassy in Tunisia on fire as protesters climbed walls

By Kay Steiger
Friday, September 14, 2012 12:13 EDT
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Protesters reportedly climbed the walls of a U.S. embassy in Tunis, the capital of Tunisia. The building is now on fire, according to a report by Al-Jazeera English.

“Yes, I’ve seen people climbing the embassy wall five minutes ago and were able to jump in. Protesters, they were actually able to move police units,” reporter Youssef Gaigi said. “I can see black smoke coming out of the embassy area, actually, and the situation is chaotic, actually.”

He said he had to leave the area due to the smoke, but he said protesters have entered the embassy and set “some things on fire, for sure.”

Gaigi reported though police will sometimes use force, “they were really unable to control the situation” and the crowds overpowered three different police units, including the national guard and the army. The protesters reportedly only had rocks and no other forms of weapons. Gaigi also said he was unsure of who was still inside the embassy or whether U.S. personnel had been inside when the protest started.

He said the protesters were mostly made up of young men who were “to some extent religious” and were offended by an anti-Islamic movie that was credited with sparking violent attacks that resulted in the deaths of four U.S. officials in Libya, including U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens. The film has been promoted by Florida pastor Terry Jones, who reportedly still endorses the film, even after the attacks.

Al-Jazeera reported that protesters have also targeted U.S. embassies in Yemen and the Sudan. Sudanese protesers also targeted German and British embassies.

Update: The Associated Press reported that Tunisia’s official news service determined two people died and 29 were injured in the embassy attack.

Watch the video, uploaded by AlJazeeraEnglish on Sept. 14.

Kay Steiger
Kay Steiger
Kay Steiger is the managing editor of Raw Story. Her contributions have appeared in The American Prospect, The Atlantic, Campus Progress, The Guardian, In These Times, Jezebel, Religion Dispatches, RH Reality Check, and others. You can follow her on Twitter @kaysteiger.
 
 
 
 
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