U.S. orders embassy staff to leave Tunis, Khartoum

WASHINGTON/KHARTOUM Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:46pm EDT

1 of 2. A teacher embraces a schoolgirl after witnessing the damage inside the American School after it was attacked by protesters in Tunis September 15, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Zoubeir Souissi

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WASHINGTON/KHARTOUM (Reuters) - The United States ordered non-essential staff to leave its embassies in Tunisia and Sudan on Saturday after both diplomatic posts were attacked and Khartoum rejected a U.S. request to send a platoon of Marines to bolster security at its mission there.

"Given the security situation in Tunis and Khartoum, the U.S. State Department has ordered the departure of all family members and non-emergency personnel from both posts, and issued parallel travel warnings to American citizens," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement.

The U.S. embassies in Tunis and Khartoum were attacked on Friday by protesters infuriated by a widely disseminated anti-Islamic film, made in the United States, that insults the Prophet Mohammad and has provoked a violent reaction across the Muslim world.

Four people were killed and 46 injured in the assault on the U.S. Embassy in Tunis, according to a hospital official in the city.

In Khartoum, around 5,000 people protesting against the film stormed the German embassy before breaking into the U.S. mission on Friday. They also attacked the British embassy and at least two people were killed in clashes with police, according to state media.

A U.S. official told Reuters on Friday that Washington would send Marines to Sudan to improve security at the embassy, which is located outside Khartoum for security reasons.

But Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti told the state news agency SUNA, "Sudan is able to protect the diplomatic missions in Khartoum and the state is committed to protecting its guests in the diplomatic corps."

The top security body in the Khartoum region said that "the surveillance and protection of embassy, mission and foreign residential buildings has been stepped up to prevent any dangers," said the state-linked Sudanese Media Center.

Sudanese and U.S. officials said on Saturday that the Marines had already set off for Khartoum but had been called back pending further discussions with Sudan.

The United States had "requested additional security precautions as a result of yesterday's damage to our embassy," said Nuland, the State Department spokeswoman. "We are continuing to monitor the situation closely to ensure we have what we need to protect our people and facility."

A riot police truck was parked in front of the deserted German embassy, which protesters had set on fire. But an Islamic flag raised by the crowd was still flying.

More than 20 police officers were sitting in front of the U.S. embassy.

Sudan has also criticized Germany for allowing a protest last month by right-wing activists carrying caricatures of Mohammad, and for Chancellor Angela Merkel's award in 2010 to a Danish cartoonist who had depicted the prophet, triggering unrest across the Islamic world.

President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has been under pressure from Islamists who feel the government has given up the religious values of his 1989 Islamist coup.

The Sudanese government had called for protests against the film, but peaceful ones. U.S. President Barack Obama's administration said it had nothing to do with the movie, which is little more than an amateurish video clip and appears to have been made in California.

(Reporting by Ulf Laessing and Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Christopher Wilson and Kevin Liffey)

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Comments (16)
SyriasTruth wrote:
You just can’t figure out these Muslim extremist’s..!!!

A cheap film about Muslim prophet…no one killed by the film. No mosques destroyed or holy Muslim books burned.

Yet Muslims riot and kill in the streets all over the world.

Well let me ask…Where is the outrage and riots over the slaughter of Muslims, the destruction of hundreds of Muslim Mosques of every sect, the buring of

thousands of Muslim holy books….all in Syria by Bashar Assad the ruler of Syria.

TELL ME…where are the Muslim nations? Where…are the Muslim’s who are outraged?

Bashar Assad has mass murdered over 39,000 (over 29,000 known and at least 10,000 dead still buried under the rubble) Syrian Muslims !! Butchered unarmed

Muslim civilians…men, women, children and babies.

Assad has arrested or disappeared over 235,000 other Muslim Syrian people. No one knows how many for sure…no one has seen them.) He has slit their

throats after capture, burned them alive in their homes, burried them in mass graves hundreds at a time, and drops barrles of TNT on them everyday…wiping

them off the face of the Earth !!

Where is this so called Muslim outrage ???

None….nothing anywhere !! Not one protest against Assad’s attackes on Muslims and Muslim mosques recently….anywhere outside Syria !!

Yet…today…and I mean right now !!! Assad is shelling with artillery, and bombing with planes Muslim cities, villages and towns…just as he has for 19

months.

Not one Muslim on TV, or in the streets to protest this slaughter!

Yet here we have Muslims all across the world as “Movie Critics” burning and killing over the insult ??? Many of the protesters interviewed had not even

seen the movie trailer clip…the whole Movie (likely a fake) still unreleased.

Yet …What?? Protesting the unseen, unheard…unknown insult??

What about the actual act, the actual destruction of Muslim People and their Holy places of worship? How can Muslim’s let Bashar Assad act..and not

protest such atrocities against Muslims?

If there is this little outrage over Syria’s Muslims being slaughtered …then all this rioting and outrage over an unpublished movie and it’s trailer is

just a bunch of Muslim BS! Useless waste of lives and energy.

If Muslims don’t care about what is going on in Syria …..Muslim’s just don’t care…AT ALL !!!

They lie and pretend to even be Muslims caring about Islam !!

I protest ….the lack out outrage over Syria !!!

Sep 15, 2012 5:31pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
dreamymiss wrote:
No mention that Sudan refused to allow extra marines in to protect the embassy??

Sep 15, 2012 5:52pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
towelhead54 wrote:
That’s going to put a damper on my” Islamic Holy Sites” vacation plans this winter.

Sep 15, 2012 7:02pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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