Anti-American Protests Spread to Yemen

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 13 2012 9:13 AM

Anti-American Rioters Storm Embassy in Yemen

Yemeni protesters gather around fire during a demonstration outside the US embassy in Sanaa over a film mocking Islam on Thursday.
Yemeni protesters gather around fire during a demonstration outside the US embassy in Sanaa over a film mocking Islam on Thursday.

Photo by Mohammed Huwais/AFP/Getty Images.

***Check out Slate's interactive timeline of the violence in Libya, Egypt and Yemen.***

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

The anti-American unrest that began in Egypt this week before spreading to Libya—where assailants with unknown ties to the protesters killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans on Tuesday—has now spilled over into Yemen and is threatening a number of other U.S. missions in the region.

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The Associated Press with the details from Sana:

Chanting “death to America,” hundreds of protesters ... stormed the U.S. Embassy compound in Yemen’s capital and burned the American flag on Thursday, the latest in a series of attacks on American diplomatic missions in the Middle East. ... Protesters smashed windows as they breached the embassy perimeter and reached the compound grounds, although they did not enter the main building housing the offices. Angry young men brought down the U.S. flag in the courtyard, burned it and replaced it with a black banner bearing Islam’s declaration of faith — “There is no God but Allah.”

The Yemen protest, like those that preceded it in Cairo and Benghazi, appears to have been sparked by an obscure, anti-Islam film. While the details behind the movie—including who made it and how—remain very much in question, its depiction of Mohammed as a pedophile-appeasing, bumbling spreader of false doctrine has enraged Muslims across the region nonetheless.

The New York Times with the details from the rest of the region:

For a third straight day, protesters scuffled with police firing tear gas at the American Embassy in Cairo, witnesses said, and the state news agency reported that 13 people were injured. In Iraq, a militant Shiite group, Asaib Ahl al-Haq, once known for its violent attacks on Americans and other Westerners, reportedly said the video “will put all American interests in danger.” Protests were also reported at American missions in Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia, where police also fired tear gas to disperse crowds.

U.S. officials have suggested that it is possible that the assailants that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and the three other Americans in Benghazi on Tuesday used the protests as a diversion for their planned attack. There has been little concrete evidence, however, to support the idea that the protests themselves were instigated by the attackers. Likewise, the original demonstrations in Egypt and those that have followed elsewhere are believed to have been sparked largely by the video's portrayal of Mohammed.


Related slideshow: Protests Erupt at Multiple U.S. Embassies Across Islamic World

***Check out Slate's interactive timeline of the violence in Libya, Egypt and Yemen.***

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