Unrest sparked by a YouTube video, considered derogatory of Islam and the Prophet Mohammad, spread to Yemen Thursday, leading hundreds of demonstrators to storm the U.S. embassy.
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Protesters in Sana, Yemen's capital, reportedly climbed the embassy's perimeter wall, set fire to a building compound and began attempting to loot equipment, before being dispersed by security forces. Some demonstrators were injured in the fracas. At this time, there are no reports of American casualties.
Yemen's president has since apologized to President Obama for the assault and called for a full investigation into the event.
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The State Department seemed to anticipate the unrest, as the embassy's website warned visitors of the possibility of protests a day before the demonstrations began.
The details of the protest come from the New York Times, which also reported that approximately 500 protesters attempted to swarm the Swiss Embassy in Iran, through which the U.S. conducts its diplomatic affairs, since there's no U.S. embassy in Iran. Iranian police kept those protesters away from the embassy.
New protests related to the film, titled "Innocence of Muslims," have also been reported in Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia near respective American diplomatic posts.
According to the New York Times, the protests spread after Muslim cleric and former mentor to Osama bin Laden Abdul Majid al-Zandani instructed his followers to copy previous protests at the American embassy in Cario and an American consolate in Benghazi, Libya.
Meanwhile, demonstrators returned to the American Embassy in Cairo for the third consecutive day. Egyptian police eventually fired tear gas in an effort to disperse the crowd. Egyptian state media later reported 13 demonstrators were injured.
The White House issued a statement early Thursday expressing disapproval at the way the Cairo protests had initially been handled by the recently-elected president of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi. In the letter, the Obama administration "underscored the importance of Egypt following through on its commitment to cooperate with the U.S. in securing American diplomatic facilities and personnel.”
Morsi on Thursday told the Egyptian public in a televised address that while peaceful demonstrations are acceptable, attacks on diplomatic posts are not. However, he also cautioned against insulting Islam and the Prophet Mohammad.
The Tuesday demonstrations at the American consolate in Benghazi, Libya was used as cover for a long-planned attack on the compound, according to CNN. That assault took the lives of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, three of his staff and several others.
Strange details about the film trailer, which was posted months ago but caused an international uproar only recently after it was translated to Arabic and broadcast by local media, are beginning to emerge. The creator of the film was previously known as "Sam Bacile," a name now believed to be a pseudonym. The quality of the film has also been called into question, while the actors involved with the production claimed they were duped into making a film very different from the initial script.
YouTube has removed the clip in Libya and Egypt, while some countries, including Afghanistan, have reportedly taken steps to block access to YouTube entirely.
Images courtesy of YouTube
This story originally published on Mashable here.