Two people are dead after thousands of protesters battled with Tunisian security forces outside the U.S. Embassy in Tunis.
The protesters hurled stones at the security forces while others climbed the embassy wall and planted an Islamist flag which said "There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet." Police responded by firing tear gas and warning shots. The Huffington Post reports 2 protesters were killed and 29 people were wounded, some of which were police.
The Tunisian government is strongly denouncing the violence. A Tunisian News Agency report states the speakership of the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) released a statement on Friday which claimed the attack on the U.S. Embassy was conducted by groups of individuals ”belonging to the Salafi movement and gangs of looters." The NCA called on the Tunisian Army and police to protect the diplomatic buildings and "impose order".
The statement also urged the Tunisian people "to show restraint and to express their stands in a civilised and peaceful way, one faithful to Tunisia's image of moderation. It also warned of ” a serious and immediate investigation on the methods used by the protesters in storming the American Embassy compound, in spite of the warnings and threats.”
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the FBI have issued a joint announcement warning of violence both abroad and possibly in the United States itself. CNN released a portion of the statement which says: "The risk of violence could increase both at home and abroad as the film continues to gain attention. Additionally, we judge that violent extremist groups in the United States could exploit anger over the film to advance their recruitment efforts."ABC News reports the statement went on to say: "First responders should remain aware of the potential for spontaneous large crowds and protests that could overwhelm resources and should be vigilant for possible efforts to encourage peaceful protesters to commit acts of violence."