VIDEO: Protests against the United States spread around Middle East, Africa
The Middle East caught fire on Tuesday when an anti-Muslim video first gained attention in Egypt. Protests have since spread across the Muslim world, targeting American and other diplomatic outposts. Local officials have sought to tamp down on the violence and push back the angry crowds.
Anger toward America in the Middle East continued on Friday, with protests outside embassies in Tunis, Tunisia, Khartoum, Sudan, and Cairo, Egypt.
But the protests spread to embassies of American allies, including the German and British embassies in Sudan. Other clashes were reported in Yemen and Lebanon. Deaths were reported in the clashes in Tunisia and Lebanon, though all western officials said their diplomatic personnel were safe and accounted for.
In Tunis, Reuters reported that the U.S. Embassy compound and a neighboring school were set afire. The German embassy in Sudan was also at least partly burned, German officials said.
Largely peaceful protests were also reported in Kuwait and Qatar, two staunch Gulf Arab American allies, as well as Bahrain.
All of the protests are in response to a trailer for a video created in the United States that's been deemed insulting to Muslims. The creator of the video originally claimed to be an Israeli Jew, but that has since been discredited.
According to ABC News, President Barack Obama notified Congress that he was dispatching U.S. troops "equipped for combat" to Libya and Tunisia to protect U.S. citizens and property.
The U.S. State Department has issued travel warnings for Americans across most of the Middle East and large parts of Africa.
In stark contrast to Tuesday, however, local police officers deployed in great numbers, in some cases in the hundreds, around American embassies to prevent further destruction. Various reports included law enforcement using tear gas, batons, water cannons and even firing shots into the air to keep the crowds at bay.
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