Tunisians storm U.S. Embassy, Sudanese set fire to German compound in regionwide outbursts

Brendan James
The Ticket

UPDATE 2:25 p.m. ET: On Friday, amid regionwide protests of an American-made anti-Islam video, Sudanese police opened fire in Khartoum as protesters attempted to scale the walls of the U.S. Embassy, the Associated Press reports. Three have been reported dead, hit by police cars outside the compound.

Earlier, as many as 5,000 enraged Sudanese protesters stormed the German Embassy in Khartoum, a violent addition to a new wave of demonstrations taking place across the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Meanwhile in Tunis, two people have been reported dead and 28 wounded from the clashes between rioters and police. Protesters briefly occupied the vacated U.S. mission while setting fire to an American school across the street.

The protests began after Friday prayers at the U.S., British and German embassies, according to the Associated Press and Reuters. Outside the German mission, demonstrators quickly turned violent, setting fire to cars and trash cans. Police on the scene attempted to disperse the large crowds with tear gas. As the air cleared there, no guards could be seen at the gates.

Shortly afterward, the mob rushed the building, which had been vacated, smashing windows and leaving a fire at the main gate, before raising Islamic flags above the mission, according to Reuters.

"The embassy staff are safe at the moment," said German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle in a statement.

The violence followed a Friday broadcast on Sudan's state radio by a prominent Islamic cleric, Sheik Mohammed Jizouly, who urged Muslims to take to the streets to protest both alleged anti-Islamic graffiti in Berlin mosques and the production of the American anti-Islam video, according to AP.

The brief, low-budget video made headlines this week after the U.S. Embassy in Cairo was stormed in a similar fashion, and U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other diplomatic aides were killed in an attack at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
The demonstrations outside the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum have so far remained peaceful.

Elsewhere across the region, Friday prayers brought out small but similarly passionate protesters, some burning American flags. Protests continued for the fourth day in Egypt, as well as in Tunisia, Yemen, Kuwait, Iraq and the Palestinian territories. For the most part numbers are reportedly small, according to AP, with the crowds made up chiefly of conservative Salafi Muslims.

In Lebanon, American restaurant chains KFC and Arby's were vandalized and clashes with police have resulted in one protester dead and 25 people wounded, most of them police officers, according to Reuters. In Tunis, one man scaled the U.S. Embassy and waved an Islamic banner.

Farther east, protests were also held in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. In Chennai, India, 86 people were arrested by police on suspicion of throwing rocks at the U.S. Consulate, according to Agence France-Presse.
More as this story develops.