Update: 29 injured in clashes outside US embassy

Update: 29 injured in clashes outside US embassy

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Thu, 13/09/2012 - 10:17

The number of people injured in the violence outside the US embassy in Cairo has mounted to 29, according to Egypt's state TV's website, Egy News, said. No deaths have been reported. The Health Ministry had earlier said 16 were injured when security forces and demonstrators clashed in Tahrir Square Thursday morning during protests against a movie believed to insult the Prophet Mohamed.

The same website said protesters had set fire to three police vehicles and continued to pelt security forces with stones, while police occasionally fired tear gas to push the protesters toward Tahrir Square.

The US embassy's website, meanwhile, said the embassy would keep its visa section closed through Thursday, and that all relevant appointments had been cancelled. It said, however, that exceptions would be made for US nationals.

The deputy director of Egypt’s ambulance service, Ahmed al-Ansary, told state-run MENA news service that 11 people have been treated and their conditions have improved.

Al-Arabiya satellite news channel’s correspondent said two Central Security vehicles were set aflame during the Thursday clashes.

Security forces had previously arrested 12 protesters near the embassy.

Meanwhile, the director of the emergency department at Mounira Hospital, Mahmoud Saeed, told MENA that six injured people had come to the hospital since clashes broke out Thursday morning. He said one police officer and three conscripts left the hospital after receiving first aid for their wounds.

The film, “Innocence of Muslims,” sparked fury among Egyptians who scaled the walls of the US Embassy in Cairo late Tuesday and tore down the American flag.

Interior Minister Ahmed Gamal Eddin visited security forces stationed outside the embassy Thursday, praising their efforts and telling them they must control themselves when provoked by demonstrators.

In Alexandria, officials tightened security measures around the US Consulate. A security source said during a telephone call with Al-Masry Al-Youm that the Alexandria directorate has increased the security presence and doubled patrols around the consulate building in anticipation of any protests, especially after Thursday’s violent clashes in the vicinity of the US Embassy in Cairo.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attended the reopening of the consulate in Alexandria last July during a visit to Egypt as part of a US plan to increase diplomatic representation here. The consulate had been closed for two decades. 

Edited translation from MENA