Published September 14, 2012
Security forces in Yemen fired warning shots and used water cannons against hundreds of protesters near the U.S. embassy in Sanaa on Friday, a day after demonstrators angered by a film deemed blasphemous to Islam stormed the fortified compound.
Early on Friday, military police and the Yemeni army had blocked off all streets leading to the U.S. embassy, but demonstrators still gathered, brandishing placards and shouting slogans against the film.
"Today is your last day, ambassador!", and "America is the devil", some placards read.
Local media reported on Friday that a group of U.S. marines had flown into Sanaa's international airport on Thursday to bolster the embassy's security. A spokesman for the U.S. embassy in Sanaa declined to comment on the reports.
At least one person died and 15 were injured at Thursday's demonstration, which started as a peaceful march but quickly turned violent when protesters threw stones and placards before attacking the security offices and the compound.
No U.S. embassy staff were hurt, but Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi condemned the attack, saying Yemen would launch an investigation.
The embassy told U.S. citizens it expected more protests against the film and that it would be closing its consular services on Saturday.
"U.S. Embassy Sanaa informs U.S. citizens of continued demonstrations in the vicinity of the embassy, and the security situation remains fluid," the embassy said in a statement posted on its website late on Thursday.
The embassy is always closed on Thursdays and Fridays, which are not working days in Yemen.
The Yemeni protest followed Tuesday night's storming of the U.S. Consulate and a safe house in Benghazi, Libya, in which the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed. President Barack Obama said the perpetrators would be tracked down and ordered two destroyers to head to the Libyan coast.
The Libyan authorities have said they had have made four arrests in the investigation into the attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and the three others.
Amid fears the protests could spread to other countries in the Muslim world, demonstrators also attacked the U.S. embassy in Egypt on Thursday.
Protesters blamed the United States for the film, posted on YouTube under several titles, including "Innocence of Muslims". Washington has condemned the film.