Yemeni president apologizes to U.S. for embassy attack, death toll rises to 3

Yemeni president apologizes to U.S. for embassy attack, death toll rises to 3
# 13 September 2012 23:21 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi apologized to U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday for the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Yemen’s capital Sanaa, as the death toll of the conflict rose to three, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

The attack in Yemen came as part of the widespread anger across the Muslim world over an U.S. movie insulting Islam’s Prophet Mohammed.

"I do apologize to U.S. President Barack Obama and the people of the United States for the aggressive attack on the U.S. embassy in Sanaa," state-run Saba news agency quoted Hadi as saying in a brief presidential statement.

"Those who carried out the attack are mobs that are not aware of the far-reaching plots of the Zionist forces, especially those who published the film insulting the Prophet," Hadi said, as he ordered an investigation into the attack.

The Yemeni interior ministry said in a brief statement that " all diplomatic staff of the U.S. embassy in Sanaa had been evacuated earlier in the day to a safe place and nobody was harmed. "

Death toll from hours-long clashes between angry demonstrators and security forces around and inside the U.S. embassy rose to three, all are protesters, and up to 30 others were injured, some of whom were hit by gunfire and in critical conditions, according to a medical report carried out by local NGO human rights websites.

Hundreds of young protesters rallied outside the embassy starting from early morning, promoting the soldiers to fire into the air to disperse them.

However, the protesters managed to breach security blockades and climbed over the walls of the embassy and opened the door for the rest of the angry people, according to witnesses.

Equipment and cars inside the embassy were all damaged, including the U.S. ambassador’s armored vehicle, as parts of the embassy were set on fire, according to security report filed by a Yemeni investigation team to the Interior Ministry, about one hour after security forces drove the protesters away and restored order at the embassy.

The protesters also burned the U.S. flag and replaced it with a white flag bearing Islamic calligraphy words reading: "There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his Messenger."

According to several witnesses and many security soldiers on patrol around the U.S. embassy, "the white Islamic calligraphy flag had been on the top corner of the U.S. embassy until the evening of Thursday."

Witnesses and local residents said the situation was still tense as of Thursday night, as more protesters were waging clashes against the security forces in attempts to break the security blockades again and repeat the assault on the embassy.

"Oh Jews, the Army of Prophet Mohammed will Return," chanted the protesters.

They said the security forces were firing into the air, using tear gas and water cannon to disperse the protesters.

Protest activists said storming the U.S. diplomatic missions in Yemen and other Arab countries will continue in the similar way like the Arab unrest that toppled their long-time leaders.

The attack in Yemen came one day after the protesters in Libya stormed and set fire to the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, which led to the death of the U.S. ambassador to Libya. Angry Muslims also stormed the U.S. embassies in Cairo and Beirut over the past two days.

The escalation in the Arab world came after the movie humiliating Islam’s Prophet was produced in the United States.