Violent protests at American anti-Islam film spreads

The outer cordon of the US Embassy was breached. Photo: APTN

Protesters demonstrating against an anti-Islam film made in America stormed the grounds of a US Embassy in Yemen, amid similar violent clashes in Egypt.

ITV News's International Correspondent John Irvine reports from the scene of the violence in Cairo:

The outer cordon of the embassy building in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa was breached after it was broken into by hundreds of protesters.

Demonstrators smashed the windows of security offices outside the embassy, before smashing through the main gate of the heavily-fortified compound in the east of the city.

A security source has told Reuters at least 15 protesters were injured, some by bullets, during the clashes with security forces, who eventually forced the demonstrators back.

The source also said 12 people were arrested after the storming.

Yemen's embassy in Washington had earlier said that no live ammunition was fired, and said there were no reports of casualties.

Protesters broke down the gates to the embassy in Sanaa. Credit: APTN

In Egypt, protesters hurled stones at a police cordon around the US embassy in central Cairo after climbing into the embassy compound and tearing down the American flag.

The state news agency said 13 people were hurt in violence which erupted late yesterday, following initial protests on Tuesday.

Cairo protests
Protesters were met with a wall of security forces in Cairo as violence escalated. Credit: Amr Dalsh / Reuters
Cairo protests
Riot police threw tear gas to attempt to quell the trouble. Credit: Amr Dalsh / Reuters

While vehemently attacking the US-made film that has sparked the protests across the region, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the anger could never justify violence.

Speaking from Brussels, Egyptian President Morsi also appealed for people to express their feelings peacefully, while condemning the film as "insulting."

He also pledged to protect tourists and vistors:

Expressing opinion, freedom to protest and announcing positions is guaranteed but without assaulting private or public property, diplomatic missions or embassies. We will protect all visitors, tourists, members of the diplomatic missions. We will not permit such attacks against US Embassies. We will protect individuals, properties and lives.

The violence came in the wake of Tuesday's attack on the US embassy in the Libyan city of Benghazi, which claimed the lives of the American ambassador and three of his staff.

The Obama administration has sent two American warships to Libya to strengthen its response to any future attacks in the area.