In Libya, gunmen attacked the consulate reportedly in protest of an American made film that they argue is "insulting" to the Prophet Muhammad, BBC News
reports. The gunmen set fire to the building.
In Cairo, protesters scaled the walls of the US Embassy, tore down the American flag, and replaced it with a black Islamist flag, The AP
reports. This was also reportedly done in protest of the same film.
Egyptian media reports that the film was produced in the US by an anti-Muslim group, and depicts the Prophet Muhammad as a fraud, The Daily Mail
There are clips of the film, which are available on Youtube, that show Muhammad having sex and calling for massacres.
Witnesses say the protesters in Cairo attempted to burn the American flag, The Washington Post
In Washington, State Department Victoria Nuland announced that US and Egyptian authorities were working together to get the situation under control, The Daily Mail
reports. Nuland also said she was not aware of injuries taking place as a result of Tuesday's demonstration in Cairo.
According to The Washington Post
, when asked about the effect this might have on US-Egyptian relations, Nuland said, "I think the bigger picture is one of the United States supporting Egypt's democratic transition and the Egyptian government very much welcoming and working with us on the support that we have to offer."
A senior Egyptian security official initially allowed the protest because it was "peaceful," but as soon as the demonstrators began climbing the walls, he claims to have called for more troops, The AP
The US Embassy
announced via its official Twitter account that visa services will be shut down Wednesday due to the protests.
US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland also confirmed the attack in Benghazi, The Washington Post
"We are working with the Libyans now to secure the compound," she said. "We condemn in strongest terms this attack on our diplomatic mission."
According to The AP
, one American employee at the US consulate in Benghazi was shot dead while another was wounded in the attack.
Wanis al-Sharif, an interior ministry official in Benghazi confirmed the two officials were shot by armed men who stormed the consulate, but has provided no further details.
According to Reuters
, three members of the Libyan security forces were injured and taken to the hospital by ambulance. A US security guard was also injured.
According to witnesses, most of the consulate building was burned, The AP
Abdel Monen-Al Hurr, spokesman for Libya's Supreme Security committee confirmed there were "fierce clashes" going on between the Libyan army and gunmen outside the US consulate, Reuters
"American security guards inside the building fired at the militia as they were trying to enter and attack," Hurr also said.
Hurr also said that roads have been closed off and security was surrounding the building.
"There is a connection between this attack and the protests that have been happening in Cairo, Hurr said according to Reuters