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Yemen President Apologizes to President Obama for Embassy Attack

Yemen’s president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi issued an apology to President Obama for the angry mob attack on the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa.

In addition to the apology, Hadi also ordered an investigation into the embassy attack. The attack featured several hundred protesters storming the embassy’s compound, bringing down the U.S. flag in the courtyard, burning it and replacing it with a black, Islamist banner.

Hadi said he would bring the culprits to justice. He said the attack was originated by a “rowdy crowd” intent on derailing Yemen’s close relations with Washington.

The U.S. Embassy in Yemen says nobody was harmed in Thursday’s assault. “All embassy personnel are safe and accounted for,” spokesman Lou Fintor said.

After Yemeni security forces tried to disperse a crowd at the fortified embassy compound, protesters broke through an outer perimeter protecting the embassy. They were forced to retreat after trying to plunder furniture and computers, the witnesses told the New York Times.

Security forces guarding the embassy fired into the air as protesters set fire to two vehicles and burned tires. Protesters tore down and burned an American flag, replacing it with their own banner proclaiming the Islamic faith, witnesses said.

The protests in Yemen came hours after a Muslim cleric, Abdul Majid al- Zandani, urged followers to emulate the protests in Libya and Egypt. Zandani, a onetime mentor to Osama bin Laden, was labeled a “specially designated global terrorist” by the United States Treasury Department in 2004.

There were also reports of 500 protesters marching on the Swiss Embassy in Tehran, chanting “Death to America.” Switzerland handles American interests in that country because the U.S. has no formal diplomatic ties with Iran. Local police held the crowds at bay, but the Swiss evacuated the compound as a precaution.

The latest developments come two days after radicals murdered the American ambassador to Libya and crowds tried to overrun the embassy compound in Cairo. The Egyptian protesters scuffled with police for a third consecutive day, while Asaib Ahl al-Haq, a militant Shiite group in Iraq, warned that the video “will put all American interests in danger.”

Meanwhile, U.S. Marines and naval vessels continue to head for Libya, where American ambassador, John Christopher Stevens, and three staff members were killed on Tuesday in an attack on the U.S. consulate.

 

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