Protesters torch US school in Tunis

2012-09-14 19:10
A pall of smoke rises above protesters after they set alight cars in the US embassy parking lot in Tunis. (Amine Landoulsi, AP)

A pall of smoke rises above protesters after they set alight cars in the US embassy parking lot in Tunis. (Amine Landoulsi, AP)

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Tunis - Angry Tunisian protesters on Friday attacked and set fire to a US school in the capital, located close to the embassy, which they stormed despite police firing tear gas and warning shots, official media reported.

"The protesters who attacked the US embassy in Tunis on Friday set fire to the building of an American school located near the embassy and ransacked the place," the TAP news agency reported, citing one of its journalists.

AP reported that firefighters were prevented from approaching by the large crowd. Thick columns of black smoke wafted through the neighbourhood.

Several dozen protesters briefly stormed the embassy compound, setting fire to cars and raising a flag with the Muslim profession of faith written on it as part of violent demonstrations in the region against an anti-Islam film.

Outside the embassy, thousands of demonstrators gathered, including stone-throwing protesters who clashed with police, an Associated Press reporter on the scene said.

Officers responded with tear gas and gunshots.

The group that breached the embassy's outer wall was pushed back outside by police and special forces.

A Tunisian employee of the embassy with an injured leg was taken out by stretcher to an ambulance.

It wasn't immediately clear if there were any other injuries.

Crowds angry over an anti-Muslim film ridiculing the Prophet Muhammad have assaulted US embassies across the Middle East.

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