Hundreds of Islamic protesters surrounded the U.S. Embassy to Yemen in San’a on Thursday displaying anti-American sentiment , chanting “death to America”, burning the U.S. flag and in-general protesting the United States.
Yemeni security forces are reported to have fired warning shots, used tear gas and riot batons to push the crowd back from the Embassy after a few protesters climbed the outer walls, reached the inner wall and replaced the embassy’s American flag with the familiar black Islamic faith flag. No protesters breached the actual main embassy building.
Shortly after attempted breach, one protester was reportedly shot and killed by Yemen security forces.
A senior Yemeni official stated that security personnel have been given orders to shoot any protester carrying weapons although no weapons have yet been seen.
Some protesters could be heard shouting “Not our Prophet! He is a red line!” in unison indicating that the protest might be religiously motivated. Yemen’s Islah religious fundamentalist political party denied organizing today’s protest.
Yemen is home of Al-Qaida, the terrorist network responsible for the 9-11 attacks, the U.S.S. Cole bombing and numerous attacks on U.S. facilities such as that in Libya yesterday. On Tuesday, it was announced that the number 2 man in Al-Qaida was killed some time ago by a U.S. Airstrike. This announcement correlates closely with the ratcheting up of protests to violent activity.
The embassy in San’a had its security drastically upgraded after the Al-Qaida attacks in 2008 that killed 19 people.