Latest Stories

US working with Arab, African nations to protect missions


Egyptian protesters run for cover from tear gas during clashes near the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012. Protesters clashed with police near the U.S. Embassy in Cairo for the third day in a row. Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi vowed to protect foreign embassies in Cairo, where police were using tear gas to disperse protesters at the U.S. mission. AP/Khalil Hamra

WASHINGTON—The United States is working with Middle East and North African nations, particularly Tunisia and Sudan, to beef up security at its missions hit by violent protests, US officials said Friday.

The State Department has also set up a 24-hour monitoring team to pool information and coordinate its response amid an explosion of anti-US fury.

For the fourth day, crowds enraged by a film that mocks Islam protested across the Muslim world, as violence erupted in Sudan, Lebanon, Tunisia and Yemen—leaving five dead and dozens injured.

But by late Friday, all US personnel in Tunisia, Yemen and Sudan were safe and accounted for, although an American school in Tunis that was torched was now “basically unusable,” said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.

“We have now had a very strong response from Tunisian security. There is a very strong presence including members of the presidential guard, who were sent by the president to help us,” she said.

The protests first erupted on Tuesday, leading to the deaths of four American diplomatic staff, including ambassador Chris Stevens, in a militant attack on the US mission in the Libyan city of Benghazi.

There have been concerns that local security forces in some capitals failed to take strong action initially to stop protests before they spiraled out of control.

“There have been throughout this period cases where the virulence of these demonstrations and the fact that they turned violence at all has caught local security by some surprise,” Nuland said.

Under international conventions, security around the exterior of diplomatic missions around the world rests with the host nation.

“Let’s just remember that these are emerging democracies. They’re coming out of an authoritarian period where the dictator said ‘Go’ and the army went. And we’re now in a period where these countries have new relationships with forces that they depend on and we depend on,” Nuland stressed.

“So in some cases we’ve had to work hard with them to get the right response and to get it strong. But I would say in all cases, where we are now is that governments are taking this extremely seriously and are working extremely well with us.

“That’s the case in Libya, that’s the case in Tunisia, it’s the case in Egypt,” she added.

Marine teams have now been dispatched to missions in Yemen and Libya and the embassy staff in Tripoli have been reduced to emergency levels, with all the Benghazi staff evacuated out of the country.

Nuland refused to answer any questions relating to the FBI-led investigation into the deaths of the four Americans killed when the Benghazi mission came under fierce fire on Tuesday, saying “this is now a crime scene.”

The bodies of the four men were flown back to the US Friday, and welcomed home at a moving ceremony at the Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland attended by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Nuland also would not be drawn on whether US diplomatic personnel from other countries would be evacuated in the coming days, or whether missions would be closed entirely.

But former US ambassador to Zimbabwe Tom McDonald told AFP: “We will see tightened security in embassies around the world and may even see some embassies closing while things sort themselves out.”

The protests broke out when Muslims emerged from mosques following the main weekly prayers to voice their anger at the film made in the United States that ridicules the Prophet Mohammed and belittles the religion he founded.

Consular teams are meanwhile working to protect American citizens in those countries hit by violence.

Since Tuesday’s anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, some 66 embassies have issued 85 new messages warning American citizens traveling to those countries about the possible dangers they face.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Anti-US protests , India , Lebanon , Sudan , Tunisia , US diplomacy , Victoria Nuland , Yemen

  • Guest

    America had this coming. For years it insulted other countries. For years it trampled upon the rights, the aspirations, the freedom of the Arab people. For years, it depicted Muslims as bad people in Hollywood films. For years America handpicked and supported Arab dictators who brutally ruled over the helpless Arab people. But thanks to Allah Almighty, the Great One, the Merciful One, America is getting her comeuppance. America cannot appease the anger of the Arab people now, even if it sends Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber on a free concert tour across the Middle East. It’s just too late. America claims to have liberated Libya but magically made the Libyan gold reserves disappear and the Libyan oil wells channeled to European companies. America claims to know what’s best for Iraq and Iraqi oil wells, but the world knows better. The Arab Spring has a second part to it, and that’s the expulsion of the meddlesome America from the Middle East. America had this coming. And may Mr. Stevens soul rest in peace.

    • ma hill

      its exactly the opposite.. the truth is, the Muslim religion can’t peacefully co-exists along side any believe structure in the world..not christianity, not hindu not judaism..its the muslim that causing the violence..this is just another example and a long history..

      • Guest

        ma hillbilly, you could be forgiven for thinking such as you’re some dumb country hick from the bible belt. but out here in the real world, only America and white Europeans could not get along with Muslims. All over the world, from Asia to Africa, we get along just fine. Even China, with their terrible human rights record, got along with Islam and Muslims for more than a thousand years. That’s 3 times longer than the time America came into being. Ever wonder why so many people hate America and ignorant folks like you?

        At any rate, let me wish you well on your current tour in Afghanistan. Keep your digits intact. You might just land a job in Nevada as a drone bomber operator after your tour.

      • ma hill

        thats not true actually..thailand actually have problems with muslims, philippines problems with mustlims(abbusayaf kidnapping and killing christians), russia problems with muslims, jakarta-muslim murdered the chinese in 1998, 911 in the US were the muslims murdering 3,000 people..india was so bad, violence between muslims and hindu was so bad that the british created the country of pakistan so that the muslim will have there own place..and it was the United States in europe that went into croasia to save muslims from being “ethnic cleansing” .. you have no idea of reality and history..you should really begin to mind your history..

      • Guest

        nice to see you’ve learned how to use wikipedia. that’s a good first step ma hillbilly. now, try to read up on their sources, read the context and understand how problems arise when Christians go around killing people of other faith. Russia has no problems with Muslims because they want to conquer large swaths of land belonging to Muslims. come back when you’ve read the rest. i’ll tell you parents in the next PTA that you’re improving. keep it up.

      • ma hill

        you need to learn history.. stop the hypocrisy.. there’s no real facts in what you post..so good luck my dear!! and get some help with your anger issues..:)

      • Guest

        go back to your Saturday morning televangelist ma hillbilly.

      • ma hill

        I am not the one preaching hate..YOU ARE.. and Your IP Address had been recorded.. so Have a Nice Day!!..:)

      • ma hill

        u have never mention any single real facts other than insults and attacks..shows your ignorance..

      • Guest

        oh please don’t get all upset ma hillbilly. charlie chan don’t mean to hurt your sensitive feelings ma baby hillbilly. truth is, you can’t discern fact from fiction. you think the whole world was insulting you when you feel overwhelmed. time for your Saturday morning televangelist now ma hillbilly. wipe your tears and be a good muslim-hating Christian now.

      • ma hill

        just so you know the person who created this film that triggers the massive anti-american riots in the middle east was actually and egyptian-american who has a history of defrauding US banks through issuing fraud checks.. and also America has a big number of people coming from different cultures all over the world..there’s a lot of muslim around here, even chinese, filipinos, vietnames, russians, europeans, thai..etc name it and u have it all here.. and we gave out all Billions and Millions of dollars to ur country and other muslim countries like Libya, Egypt, Korea, Tunisia, etc for help.. and its the tax payers money.. so whose hating who? ur biting the hands of the people that helps u out of poverty..

      • Guest

        you don’t have to put it so nicely ma hillbilly. we’re all adults here and we’re not born yesterday. America does not give out free lunch. every favor is meticulously recorded and payback time is never far behind. As for Libya, you should have mentioned the Libyan gold reserves that magically disappeared with US & NATO’s arrival. Same goes for Iraq’s gold reserves. as for the protests, what makes you think the massive and explosive protests is all caused by just one film? judging by how naive you are, you must be really American. educate yourself some more.

      • ma hill

        what gold reserves are you talking about? Are you referring to the gold reserves in the Philippines? You can’t even follow a thought..you are angry and sick in the head..you know the definition of a moron? is someone who can’t learn or simply refuses to learn.. which one are you?

    • ma hill

      its you who is insulting the world ..you use the technology given to by the west to lie and insult those people who try to help you and who believe in freedom..

      • Guest

        and which technology might you be referring to, ma hillbilly? be careful now, don’t expose your ignorance too much.

      • ma hill

        computer, internet, flat panel screen,software, deskdrive, automobiles, airplanes, electric power, solar power, on and on and on…

        and you accused me of exposing ignorance that’s obviously “projecting” oh yeah and the whole subject of psychology was discovered in the west and u might wanna go look up “project” if you have a dictionary..if u dont want to be insulted then do not insult others..you might noticed that i am not attacking you personally.. i am just pointing out facts and history..if u want u can go to school and study real history..

      • ma hill

        i have not gotten into the social media network yet.. lol..its endless history of technology that the west created…

      • Guest

        really? and why do they all have made.in.china stamped on them? i bet you didn’t know who miniaturized, innovated and commoditized them to make them affordable and accessible to the other 6 billion people around the world outside of US. and don’t go psychologizing the whole conversation with prozac, you don’t know the first thing about it.

        btw, thanks for not attacking me. but fcuk you for attacking Muslims and all non-Americans. you must be part of the 8.1% of officially unemployed Americans to be so bitter about Muslims. Worse, you must be one of those who dropped out and gave up looking for a job. Time to go back to school ma hillbilly. And take it easy on those fatty junk food and sugary drinks, they make you dumb. Or visit your local Mosque, they might have some free soup and bread for you. my Imam says hi.

      • ma hill

        wow u got some anger issues going..:) why can’t you stay on real facts? why do you feel the need to insult? 

      • Guest

        try harder, your psychobabble is not working. you’re not even getting the terms right.

      • ma hill

        you are off point..commoditization is different than invention. and its even the US companies that seeded the mass manufacturing that we see in many different countries around the world.. so called “outsourcing” you maybe heard those word.  its obvious you really dont know what you are talking about.. 
        you continually insult and inflamed and all ive done is spoken the truth.. it is you who are ignorant, low class and suffering..you are right go back to school and stay in there for a long time..

      • Guest

        oh please don’t be upset with me ma hillbilly. it’s uncalled for to insult me and my people. if you really want to know more about who invented what, you really should visit your local library and ask for assistance. at your level, even wikipedia will be a challenge for you. outsourcing was started by Indians, not Americans if you dig deep enough. Subcontracting was started by the Japanese, not Americans. but since you prefer to be ignorant, why should I stop you. ignorance can sometimes be bliss, so please stay there.

      • ma hill

        LOL..you have no clue..you can’t even follow a single thread in this conversation.. you only sees what’s been in the last coulple of years.. choke on your own bitterness.. hahaha.. you probably doesnt know what outsourcing is.. but no worries because ur IP address has been recorded and logged.. LOL

      • Guest

        oh this is not a pleasant way to say goodbye ma hillbilly. there’s no need for you to get all angry at me. i was willing to let you have the last word on this just to make you feel good. and don’t worry about my IP address, someone from NSA dropped by the Starbucks i was hanging out in earlier today to check me out. i thought it was you. remember to read more often now. and sign up with Oprah’s Reading Is Fun program if you’re up to it. LOL.

      • ma hill

        you dont make sense to me..LOL.. I am not angry you are the one..LOL..start to look up the word “projecting”..

  • $18209031

    Ayan, it will only get worse by the day until America bring the filmmaker into custody. Sooner and later our muslim brother s in Mindanao will be joining in the protests.

  • $18209031

    This is a new beginning of  muslim vs christian holy war.  Thanks to some zealot who insults muslims and the film done in United States. Tell ya what, this is gonna be big . The bad part is, US elections are coming and what a big insult bec a US ambassador got killed during the 11 th anniversary of 9 11. Just another macabre of a situation here. Good luck America for protecting Israel after all these years. It is just trouble going deeper and deeper.
    Israel;s president Netanyahu’s plan to take Iran may be stopped by the US while they try to patch this uproar.

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  2. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  3. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  4. Massive infra spending set
  5. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  6. DOJ to NBI: Arrest Cedric Lee, 4 others
  7. Cardinal Tagle to faithful: Join politics to clean it
  8. Estrada, Gigi Reyes denied access to evidence from other respondents
  9. Thoughts on Holy Week
  10. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  1. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  2. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  3. Netizens cry: 6/55 Lotto was rigged
  4. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  5. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  8. ‘King’ Yabut and I: Driver bares Makati dad ‘abuses’
  9. It was difficult having Japanese blood
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. UP back on top as ‘average’ student aces bar
  5. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  6. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  7. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  8. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  9. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  10. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’


  • DOH asks co-passengers of OFW carrier to test for MERS-CoV
  • 5.5-magnitude quake hits Sultan Kudarat
  • Passengers denied chance to escape sinking South Korea ferry
  • Firetruck rams California eatery; 15 injured
  • Heavy traffic reported on NLEx, SLEx
  • Sports

  • PH youth boxers off to stumbling start in AIBA World tilt
  • Durant has 42, Thunder beat Pistons 112-111
  • Walker leads Bobcats over Bulls in OT, 91-86
  • Man City slips further out of title contention
  • Federer would skip tennis to be with wife, newborn
  • Lifestyle

  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  • Entertainment

  • Will Arnett files for divorce from Amy Poehler
  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Why Lucky has not bought an engagement ring for Angel
  • Derek more private with new girlfriend
  • Business

  • Asia stocks fail to match Wall Street gains
  • Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work
  • PH presses bid to keep rice import controls
  • PSEi continues to gain
  • Number of retrenched workers rose by 42% in ’13
  • Technology

  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Syria most dangerous country for journalists, PH 3rd—watchdog
  • Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  • First Fil-Am elected to Sierra Madre, Calif. city council
  • UC Irvine cultural night to dramatize clash of values in immigrant family
  • Filipino sweets and info served at UC Berkeley Spring Fest
  • Marketplace