United States recalls embassy staff from Tunisia, Sudan

PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 17 September, 2012, 4:55am


Washington ordered all non-essential staff to leave Tunisia and Sudan after its embassies were stormed by Muslims protesting against an anti-Islamic film and as al-Qaeda called for more attacks on US targets.

US officials have already deployed counter-terrorism Marine Corps units to Libya and Yemen and stationed two destroyers off the North African coast.

About 1,000 people shouted slogans outside the US embassy in central London yesterday with many carrying placards aimed at the US, saying, "America - get out of Muslim lands".

In Paris, police reinforced security around the American embassy, a day after hundreds of people gathered outside the building, while Germany ordered some staff to leave its embassy in Sudan and bolstered security at the mission in Khartoum.

Canada closed its embassies in Cairo, Tripoli and Khartoum for the day as a safety precaution for staff and the buildings, officials said.

Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Karti on Saturday flatly rejected a US request to send special forces to protect the Khartoum embassy, the official SUNA news agency said, quoting his office.

Hours later, US officials announced Washington would evacuate all non-essential staff and family members from Sudan and Tunisia and warned US citizens against travel to the two countries.

Despite Tehran's hostility to Washington and its own condemnation of the film, Iran's Revolutionary Guards commander General Mohammad Ali Jafari said the killing of the US ambassador to Libya last Tuesday was unjustified. "Definitely this did not warrant killing," Jafari told a news conference in Tehran.

Although the US government has condemned the film, protests erupted again yesterday, with hundreds of students pouring into the streets of Kabul shouting anti-American slogans. The Bangladeshi government called the film "reprehensible".

In Pakistan, protesters clashed with police outside the US consulate in Karachi.

The militant group al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula called for more violence against US diplomatic missions in the Middle East and Africa, and urged attacks on US interests in the West.

But in the Philippines, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front rejected the call.