September 13th, 2012
02:47 PM ET

Libyan official: Suspect in consulate attack arrested

Editor's note: Several protests stemming at least in part from an anti-Islam film produced in the United States are unfolding outside U.S. embassies around the world. Thursday's protests follow ones in Cairo and Benghazi and an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya on Tuesday night that killed the U.S. ambassador and three others. Follow along with the live blog below for all of the developments around the world.

[Updated at 5:18 p.m. ET] Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, said the U.S. government should bring to justice those behind the anti-Islam film.

Khameini on Thursday called the making of the film a "criminal act," according to the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency. His comments came the same day university students protested outside the Swiss Embassy in Tehran, blaming the United States and Israel for the American-made film. The Swiss Embassy represents U.S. interests in Iran.

[Updated at 3:59 p.m. ET] At least one person has been arrested in the killings of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, Libya's prime minister said Thursday.

One person was arrested early Thursday in Benghazi, Mustafa Abushagur said on CNNI's "Amanpour." "Three or four are currently being pursued," he said.

Earlier, the Libyan state-run news agency LANA said more than one person had been arrested. It cited the deputy minister of interior in the eastern region, Wanees al-Sharif, as its source.

The announcement came as the United States is struggling to determine whether a militant group planned the attack that killed the four Americans, even as warships head toward the north African country as part of a mission to hunt down and punish the killers.

[Updated at 3:11 p.m. ET] Four people were killed Thursday during protests near the U.S. Embassy in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, according to two Yemeni security officials. They reported 11 injuries among protesters.

[Updated at 2:47 p.m. ET] Some individuals believed to be involved in the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi have been arrested, the Libyan Deputy Minister of Interior said in a statement to the country's state-run news agency.

"Some individuals suspected of involvement in the attack on the American Embassy in the city of Benghazi that resulted in the killing of the American Ambassador and three of his companions have been arrested," Wanis Al-Sharif said.

Al-Sharif added in that statement that "the investigation is on-going and will reveal either whether those individuals are involved or innocent."

[Updated at 2:28 p.m. ET] Arrests have been made in connection with Tuesday's attack that killed four Americans at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libyan Deputy Interior Minister Wanis Sharif said, according to Reuters.

"Some people have been arrested and are under investigation," Reuters quoted Sharif as saying.

[Updated at 1:25 p.m. ET]  A day after attackers killed four Americans at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, President Obama said the administration has let other governments know they have an "obligation to cooperate with us to protect our citizens." He spoke at a campaign rally in Golden, Colorado.

[Updated at 12:32 p.m. ET] The Egyptian Health Ministry says 224 people were injured in protests in Cairo on Thursday, according to Egyptian State Television station Nile TV.

Earlier in Cairo, demonstrators threw rocks and Molotov cocktails as police tried to disperse them by firing tear gas canisters from police vehicles as they drove through Tahrir Square, near the embassy.

The clashes came amid heightened tensions at U.S. diplomatic missions in the region following Tuesday's attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that left Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other consular officials dead.

[Updated at 12:23 p.m. ET] A U.S. intelligence official tells CNN the picture is becoming clearer within the intelligence community as to what group or groups were responsible for the attack.

Given what officials know about al Qaeda in Libya, U.S. intelligence believes it is very unlikely that this was core al Qaeda behind the attack. Officials are not yet ready to identify a group.

[Updated at 12:14 p.m. ET] Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, issued the following statement condemning the attack on the U.S. embassy in Yemen earlier Thursday:

“I condemn in the strongest terms the breaching of the perimeter of the US Embassy in Sanaa by protesters and express our full solidarity with the U.S. authorities," she said. "I am closely following developments in Northern Africa and the Middle East with great concern. We have urged the Yemeni authorities to reinforce security of EU missions in Sanaa and to take the necessary measures to protect diplomats.”

[Updated at 11:33 a.m. ET] Protesters in the capital of Yemen are decreasing and the the crowd is diffusing, journalist Hakim Almasmari told CNN.

Almasmari spoke to CNN from the capital, Sanaa, where there had been alarge number of protesters demonstrated outside the embassy. About six demonstrators reaching the main gate and attempting to break windows of the security room, witnesses said earlier Thursday. Protestors burned tires outside the embassy, while Yemeni security forces attempted to disperse the crowd of several thousand with batons.

[Updated at 11:18 a.m. ET] Saudi Arabia's official news agency has published a statement by an official source within the country "denouncing the violent reactions that took place in a number of countries against American interests."

The statement by the official goes on to offer "condolences and sympathy to the United States for the victims who fell due to the violent acts in Libya that targeted the American Embassy in Benghazi."

Saudi Arabia also "denounces the irresponsible group in the United States for producing a film that insults the Prophet Mohammed, Peace be upon Him, and assures that it rejects all actions that harm religions and their symbols."

[Updated at 11:17 a.m. ET] A member of the production staff who worked on an anti-Islam film that has sparked widespread protests has told CNN that the producer's name was listed as Abenob Nakoula Basseley on paperwork filed with the Screen Actors Guild.

In previous media interviews, the filmmaker had identified himself as Sam Bacile and said he was a 52-year-old Israeli-American real estate developer from California. The staffer, who did not want to be identified for security reasons, said he believed the filmmaker was a Coptic Christian.

[Updated at 10:50 a.m. ET] Glen Doherty, a Massachusetts native was as among those killed in Libya attack, a family spokesman told CNN.

A spokesperson who did not wish to be identified acknowledged Dohertyhad passed in Libya.   The woman noted family had gathered the home and were not speaking further with the media at this time.

[Updated at 10:40 a.m. ET] Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday there should be no debate that violence in response to speech is not acceptable, saying leaders in government, civil society and religion "must draw the line at violence."

She added, "Any responsible leader should be standing up now and drawing that line."

[Updated at 10:32 a.m. ET] U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reiterated Thursday that "there is no justification, none at all, for responding to this video with violence." She was referring to a video, which has sparked protests in several countries, that depicts the prophet Mohammed as a child molester, womanizer and ruthless killer.

[Updated at 10:26 a.m. ET] U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the government rejects "the content and message" of the anti-Islam video that stirred outrage across the Muslim world.

"Let me state very clearly, and I hope it is obvious, that the United States government had absolutely nothing to do with this video," she said.

Clinton added that the video is "disgusting and reprehensible."

[Updated at 9:47 a.m. ETSeveral hundred demonstrators engaged Egyptian police in intense clashes for hours Thursday just 300 yards from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, journalist Ian Lee reports.

The protesters have become enraged over an offensive anti-Muslim film, threw rocks and Molotov cocktails as police tried to disperse them by firing tear gas canisters. The protests chanted “With our souls, with our blood, we will sacrifice for you Prophet Mohammed.”

A CNN team on the ground witnessed at least 5 injured Egyptian policeman and several injured demonstrators being dragged from the scene by friends.

[Updated at 9:09 a.m. ET] Three protesters were injured - one critically - when police fired on a demonstration outside the U.S. Embassy in the Yemeni captal of Sanaa, protesters and eyewitnesses said Thursday. Anti-American sentiment has been rising in the region over the online release of a film trailer produced in the United States that denigrates Prophet Mohammed.

[Updated at 8:00 a.m. ET] More than 200 Palestinians angered by the anti-Islam film stirring outrage across the Muslim world staged a demonstration in front of the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Thursday.

The group shouted slogans against Israel and the US. An Israeli flag held during the demonstration with a BIG X across it and with blood stains on it. Some held a  banner reading "We are all your protectors prophet Mohammed."

[Updated at 7:45 a.m. ET] The president of Yemen Mansour Hadi has issued a statement apologizing to President Barack Obama and the U.S. for the "attack" that took place outside the U.S. embassy in Sanaa.

"President Hadi ordered the authorities to conduct an expeditious and thorough investigation into today’s events," he said.

Hadi said that the "perpetrators of these acts will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law." The president said the protesters were a "rowdy group," one that "acted without any knowledge on conspiracies to derail Yemeni-American relations."

Hadi noted divisions that are occurring among "Yemen’s security and military forces due to the 2011 events have contributed to the amplification of the incident." He warned members of the Yemeni residents that attacking the main gate of the embassy and breaking windows are acts that "will reflect negatively on the warm relations between Yemen and the American public."

[Updated at 7:34 a.m. ET] A senior Obama administration official made the following comment to CNN that with regard to the situation in Yemen:

"We are doing everything we can to support our mission in Yemen," the official said. "We've had good cooperation from the Yemeni government which is working with us to maintain order and protect our facilities and people. These protests appear to be motivated by the film."

 A large number of protesters demonstrated outside the embassy in Sanaa, with about six demonstrators reaching the main gate and attempting to break windows of the security room, witnesses said earlier Thursday. Protestors burned tires outside the embassy, while Yemeni security forces attempted to disperse the crowd of several thousand with batons.

[Updated at 7:25 a.m. ET] An employee at the U.S. consulate in Berlin has fallen ill after receiving and opening visa documents, according to police in Berlin, Germany.

Berlin police spokesman Thomas Merkle say that a man handed his documents including his passport to the employee, she then complained of dizziness and breathing problems. A white substance was found in the area, but it is unclear whether it is linked to the incident.

The female employee and two other consulate employees were brought to a hospital for treatment and evaluation. Berlin Police and Fire Department are at the scene, including a decontamination unit. The substance is being checked and the man who handed over his documents is still in the consulate and being questioned.

[Updated  at 6:22 a.m. ET] University students have gathered in front of the Swiss Embassy in Tehran Thursday to protest against the recent anti-Islam film made in the U.S., Iran's semi-official news agency, Fars, said.

The Swiss Embassy represents U.S. interests in Tehran. A five-layer security line has been set up by the police to protect the Embassy grounds and Swiss diplomats, Fars said.

[Posted at 5:37 a.m. ET] Riot police fired warning shots and tear gas early Thursday outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo to keep hundreds of protestors, while demonstrators in the Yemeni capital city of Sana'a attempted to storm the American mission, witnesses said.

The protests are the latest to roil the Middle East over the online release of a film produced in the United States that denigrates Prophet Mohammed.

Who is Sam Bacile? Questions swirl around identity of filmmaker

 A large number of protesters demonstrated outside the embassy in Sana'a, with about six demonstrators reaching the main gate and attempting to break windows of the security room, witnesses said.

Protestors burned tires outside the embassy, while Yemeni security forces attempted to disperse the crowd of several thousand with batons.

"Given recent regional developments, earlier this morning, angry protestors unfortunately flooded the security perimeter of the U.S. embassy in Sana'a, Yemen and breached the embassy's wall," according to a statement released by Yemen through its embassy in Washington.

"Security services have quickly restored order to the embassy's complex. Fortunately no casualties were reported from this chaotic incident. "

Hours earlier in Cairo, six police officers suffered minor injuries during the clashes, said Alla Mahmoud, a spokesman for the Egyptian Interior Ministry. Some protesters received medical treatment inside ambulances.

Demonstrators threw rocks and Molotov cocktails as police tried to disperse them by firing tear gas canisters from police vehicles as they drove through Tahrir Square, near the embassy.

The clashes came amid heightened tensions at U.S. diplomatic missions in the region following Tuesday's attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that left Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other consular officials dead.

Inside the attack in Benghazi

On Tuesday, the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, several men scaled the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and tore down its U.S. flag.

About 500 protesters turned out Wednesday in Cairo to demonstrate against a film that mocks Islam's prophet.

Wednesday night's protest turned violent as demonstrators threw rocks and pushed through barbed wire fencing outside the embassy, according to Mahmoud. Two police trucks and a car were set afire.

"Forces were able to push them down toward Tahrir Square farther from embassy street," Mahmoud said, adding that some arrests had been made.

CNN's Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Ian Lee in Cairo, Jomana Karadsheh, Matt Smith, Brian Walker, Elise Labott, Paul Cruickshank and Tracy Doueiry contributed to this report

soundoff (550 Responses)
  1. Johhny G.

    To bad Obama is so weak, if we had a real leader these 9/11 protests would not be happening. But as he has already apologized and not done anything new ones are popping up. Welcome to the Obama "fixing" the middle east...

    September 13, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Issues with Chinamen

      I cant believe Im feeding the kiddy troll, but you do realize there have been far less protests over 9/11 during Obama's tenure than in the first 2 years of Bush's, right?

      Given that 9/11 happened at the end of 2001, that leaves a little over a year ...

      I realize GOP backers aren't really good at Arithmetic, but you should be able to fathom this simple equation.

      It's not fuzzy at all.

      September 13, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • mb2010a

      And I might add, he hasn't apologized to anyone for anything...tea baggers are so stupid.

      September 13, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • mb2010a

      And I might add, he hasn't apologized to anyone for anything...tea baggers are so ignorant.

      September 13, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    CALLING ALL MUSLIMS WORLD WIDE...CALLING ALL MUSLIMS WORLD WIDE...

    To all Muslims now protesting in Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Israel and other places...

    Do you know how American Muslims (The Real Civilized Muslims) are reacting to this film? Well, they're not reacting at all. They're just going about their everyday lives enjoying our American democracy and hanging out and enjoying life with their fellow Americans who are Christians, jews, Protestants, Catholitc, Episcols, etc.

    When you idiots learn to be civilized like American Muslims, give us a shout out. Peace Y'all!

    September 13, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Issues with Chinamen

      Only because the Muslim population is very much a minority here. I mean, I think I see whta you are saying, but the demographics do not support the logic used.

      If this country had Muslims as a majority, I think you might see a very different reaction here.

      September 13, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patty, TX

      Issues with Chinamen..."the Muslim population is very much a minority here"..where the heck do you live...the 4th Mosque in my area (hot area for Muslims)...is just being completed. That's just my little suburban area. Dallas/Ft. Worth as a whole..just think all over the United States.

      September 13, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Issues with Chinamen

      Patty, TX – Are you seriously trying to tell me there are more Muslims than Christians, Jews, or any other religious group in America?

      You should really think about what you post. Beforehand.

      September 13, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. dolphins88

    I really try to understand the islamists and muslims but I can't! Must everything in their lives resort to violence? This is their religion? really? Catholics and christians around the world wouldn't do this crap if they burned crosses or statues of Jesus Christ!!! This is BS to the highest degree! they just need violence in their lives and seek it they can! ....violence is in their blood!

    September 13, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Linda O'Connor

      Hoodlums will be hoodlums, no matter what religion they are.

      September 13, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • alpg49

      Historically, Christians have done this, and worse. The inquisition? The Crusades? Bosnia? Auschwitz? When it comes to violence, Christians are the world champs!

      September 13, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. sonnyofthemeek

    Majority of Muslim’s Pray as Extremists Prey

    Why is it acceptable to their majority to also being the victims of attack by extremists killing in the name of their God? The bombs meant to harm the west have taken countless innocent lives of their own believers of Islam, the same God they worship together many times a day.
    In America they reside in both peace and safety, protected by the same people being targeted and killed by extremists across the globe. If America, and it’s people had not acted in the past to end the horror of Hitler and others, what language would any of the few survivors speak, where would they hide from eradication, who would insure their survival from genocide?
    America has given hope and proof that people can coexist safely within our shores, and as many must admit, across the globe. Freedom has seldom been given in any land to all the people of this planet other than in America, proved by the numbers we are composed of. All lands represented by the makeup of our society, our people, your fellow citizen’s now here in the land of the free. The dream becomes reality upon reaching our shores, as our deaths become nightmares on your own soil, and our own as evident on 9-11.
    We mourn our lose and never turn you away for the sins of a few. This new attack killing an ambassador and others their helping your brethren, fellow Islamist’s to live without a leader as horrific as you had for lifetimes, cut short.
    Under the pretext of some unseen internet film in lands without access to basic necessities, never the less internet access. I ask of the majority, why?
    Does the same God you worship and love forgive those that take the lives of his people, his followers, his children? Are your deaths acceptable in the killing of others by these extremists? Is the harboring of killers allowed? Is it his will that you die also? Is it his will that any must die for the sins of a few misguided, soulless denizens? Why is hatred of another’s skin color, language or beliefs acceptable? Why is the calling for the eradication of any human being, race or nation permitted, and praised?
    I am but one citizen of this most wonderful planet, and proud to call myself an American. No other land exists this day or in the past that accepts you and your beliefs. In your land those differences are death sentences, or worse for fellow human beings, and possibly you. Why do you hate the freedom to exist peacefully, side by side helping each other to live?
    Please explain before our world is destroyed, while you have the time, before the death count rises and you still exist. Please translate for all to read, carefully, unedited as our Views not Fact Checked news and yours does, thank you.

    September 13, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • TiredOfPaying

      Nice essay and I hope you get an answer. I'll not sully your post with my normal analysis, because the true way to solve this problem is for the rest of the world to learn how to live together as we have here in America. We still have our problems, but have learned to put them aside to build a greater society.

      September 13, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Joe Davola

    Nice to know our leader is out campaigning in Colorado while our embassies are under attack. ....wait breaking news, another stimulus is coming......

    September 13, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      What, you want him to go overseas to the embassies?
      Will you escort him? No?
      He is fully apprised of the situation, and *is* taking steps, but that wouldn't do for you to admit that, would it?
      Nah, that would just make your post redundant, which it is.

      September 13, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • mb2010a

      He's doing exactly what he should be doing given the situation...

      September 13, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      When the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was spilling thousands of barrels of oil into the Gulf a year ago, people like you and the teapublican party blamed our President for the spill. And though the President addressed the nation (something Dubya never did) and tried to assure the American people that the best minds were working around the clock to cap the spill as engineers and other experts worked tirelesslt on the situation, the rightwing media acted as though the President shoud have gotten into a scuba suit and shut the darn thing off himself. You conservatives are as un-American as the word implies.

      September 13, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daneetra

      I forgot about that. The big oil spill happened under Hussein Obama's watch also. Seems his administration may not be as environmentally friendly as they like to portray.

      September 13, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Lol@Daneetra...weak.

      September 13, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • pork&beans

      Don't worry, Joe.
      We libs have your back if something were to happen.
      You can go about your racist banter now.

      September 13, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Derpitty Derp

      I hear you, dude. I was personally pi##ed off that the Pres didn't go into Bin Laden's house himself and beat him with a rubber hose while chugging a Bud and singing the Star-Spangled Banner. He's such a commie.

      September 13, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Chemo

    I think that the Western civilization should drop the notion of free speech. It is no longer viable to hold to those outdated ideals, with the rise of the Muslim brotherhood throughout the world. Holding  the wrong opinion about a dead man from the 7th century and daring to express that opinion in public is now punishable by death in the East and frowned upon by the academia and liberals in the West. Let us trash Christianity, it is much more safer this way.

    September 13, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. C'mon world!? Realy!?

    People of the world, fellow human-beings???...
    When will we come to understand, that when indoctrinating religion and Deity “brainwashing” worshiping of all it's kind is allowed to cloud the individual mind of so many, judgment of what's right and wrong between fellow man comes short and the truth of the matter is never rightfully sought.
    Blood will spill. Why is this so?
    We all know what's fundamentally right and wrong as collective thinking humankind!
    Are we to lazy or docile as a species to think for ourselves, or could it be that some never are presented with that opportunity of which I call freedom..freedom of thought, freedom of speech and freedom of individual life between one another with mutual respect for all other.
    We are all one and the same but religions keep us apart.

    September 13, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Nick

    Disgusting human filth...we help them liberate themselves from dictators and this is how they pay us back. Most disgusting are those slovenly women in their shrouds, too stupid to know that their status in the world has just been reduced to that of livestock by their governments...and they call Jews and Christians apes and pigs.

    September 13, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • DGV

      Exactly why we should just butt out. Let them deal with their own problems. Want to be liberated? Liberate yourself.

      September 13, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Patty, TX

    I find it interesting that these attacks happened after this "video" was shown on UTube. How did this message/video get to the Muslim world 1,000's of miles away..were they just sitting around watching UTube!!! I believe it was just enough info, a signal from this man Nakoula..to start the deaths, violence in several countries within hours of each other. I believe the "producer" of this video, who turned out to be Nakoula Basseley Nakoula sent "signals", to start the death/violence. Sorry..it's just too coincidental.

    September 13, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • C Hatch

      Smoke signals. LOL

      You must know by now that smart phones are global. So yes they got the video instantly. All it takes is a little bit of trending to get something like this started.

      September 13, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Josh

    When is America going to wake up and realize that we have no friends in the Moslem world? We should break diplomatic relations with country that cannot abide by a rule of law. America should also stop all American aid and immigration from Moslem counties. In fact it should stop helping any country who wants to stay in the dark ages and let them kill themselves off as that it what it seems they are best at doing.

    September 13, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • marie

      you are absolutely right!

      September 13, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Patty, TX

    50????? Marines are going to help enforce security...against those vicious, "small group, mobs" as Hillary says..but only 50 Marines!!!

    September 13, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • TiredOfPaying

      I thinky you would be pleasantly suprised what 50 US Marines are capable of handling.

      September 13, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • J1234

      I think Patty should join the Marines and see why only 50 is needed. I know why we are sending only 50, I'm a Marine. The commercial you see on TV (The Few The Proud), well there's a reason we are few and proud because not everyone can be a Marine!

      September 13, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • C Hatch

      50 badass marines. Respect woman

      September 13, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jeff Cox

    Round up the usual suspects ...

    September 13, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Paul

    The guys that were just busted need to be sent to Guantanamo. We got good ways of making them talk!

    September 13, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. banasy©

    Good.
    Arrest some more.

    September 13, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Lem

    Are we really supposed to believe they arrested the right people?

    Let's be real here, they probably will never arrest the right people, ever. They just need some scapegoats and try to instill some closure to the American people in saying that they actually arrested the perpetrators.

    Islam really is not a violent religion, but these people are taking it waaaay too far. I mean, killing and rioting because of some random YouTube video? Really? It's pretty clear to me that these people are borderline insane and peace will never come to these people. They will continue to butcher themselves and others until the end of time.

    September 13, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
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