WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Protests over the anti-Islam film thicken in Egypt as demonstrations press into a third day near the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.
They threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at the embassy and at police officers trying to disperse the raucous crowd. Police retaliated by firing tear gas canisters into the air like missiles, landing them in the middle of the defiant protesters in Tahrir Square.
Tuesday’s attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya that left American ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead seems now to have just been the beginning. The uprising has spread throughout the Middle East, with protesters now in Egypt, Iran, Tunisia, Morocco and Afghanistan. Protests were finally quelled in Yemen, where demonstrators breached the perimeter of the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa.
But the situation is most untenable in Cairo where at least 13 protesters and six police officers were injured, according to government officials.
The onslaught began three days ago when just a few men scaled the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and tore down the American flag, replacing it with a Jihadist message.
Now days later, what started as just a few has grown to nearly 500 protesters in the streets of Egypt’s capital just outside the U.S. Embassy.
Police continue to fire tear gas in hopes it will deplete the strength of the demonstrators but they are proving relentless – just grabbing the canisters and throwing them back at authorities. According to the Egyptian Interior Ministry, at one point demonstrators pushed through barbed wire fencing surrounding the embassy. Police trucks and a car were also set on fire.
Protests continue marching the beat of “death to America” chants but demonstrators have reportedly been pushed back away from the embassy.