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. Friday's protests follow ones Tuesday at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, where attacks killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans.
In Tunisia, protesters have scaled a U.S. Embassy gate and set fire to cars on the property, a journalist there says. In Egypt, the influential Muslim Brotherhood canceled nationwide protests planned for Friday, but a running battle between police and protesters in Cairo continued into its fourth day.
Follow the live blog below for all of the developments around the world.
[Updated at 3:04 p.m. ET] A ceremony at Maryland's Joint Base Andrews for the returned bodies of the four Americans killed at the Benghazi consulate has ended, and the caskets are being carried to hearses. See the 2:59 and 2:51 p.m. entries for remarks by President Barack Obama, who said the four laid down their lives "in service to us all."
[Updated at 2:59 p.m. ET] President Barack Obama, at a ceremony at Maryland's Joint Base Andrews for the returned bodies of the four Americans killed at the Benghazi consulate, added:
"The United States of America will never retreat from the world. We will never stop working for the dignity and freedom that every (person) deserves. ... Thatâ€™s the essence of American leadership. ... That was their work in Benghazi, and that is the work we will carry on."
At the beginning and toward the end of his remarks, Obama cited the Bible's John 15:13: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." Obama said the four killed Americans laid down their lives "in service to us all."
"Their sacrifice will never be forgotten," Obama said.
[Updated at 2:51 p.m. ET] President Barack Obama, at a ceremony for the returned bodies of the four Americans killed at the Benghazi consulate, is now eulogizing the four at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.
Ambassador Chris Stevens, Obama said, "was everything America could want in an ambassador."
"Four Americans, four patriots. They loved this country. They chose to serve it, and served it well," Obama said. "They had a mission they believed in. They knew the danger, and they accepted it. They didn't simply embrace the American ideal, they lived it; they embodied it. The courage, the hope, and yes, the idealism - that fundamental American belief that we could leave this world a little better than before."
Ex-SEALs, online gaming maven among Benghazi dead
[Updated at 2:45 p.m. ET] At a ceremony for the returned bodies of the four Americans killed at the Benghazi consulate, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said:
"Today we bring home four Americans who gave their lives for our country and our values. To the families of our fallen colleagues, I offer our most heartfelt condolences and deepest gratitude."
She saluted Sean Smith, a computer expert, as someone known as "an expert on technology by colleagues in Pretoria, Baghdad, Montreal and The Hague."
She hailed ex-Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods as someone who protected diplomatic personnel since 2010 "in dangerous posts" around the world.
"He had the hands of a healer as well as the arms of a warrior, earning distinction as a registered nurse and certified paramedic," Clinton said of Woods.
Clinton also hailed the other ex-Navy SEAL, Glen Doherty. "He, too, died as he lived, serving his country and protecting his colleagues."
Clinton said Stevens, as a diplomat, "won friends for the United States in far-flung places.â€ť She thanked his parents, who were at the ceremony, for the "gift" that Stevens was.
The ceremony was at a hangar at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.
[Updated at 2:35 p.m. ET] The ceremony for the returned bodies of the four Americans killed at the Benghazi consulate has begun. A prayer is being offered. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will speak soon, followed by Obama.
[Updated at 2:31 p.m. ET] Marines at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland are removing from a plane the flag-draped caskets of four Americans killed in the consulate attack in Libya, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. The caskets will be placed at a hangar nearby, and President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will give remarks.
[Updated at 2:28 p.m. ET] We're awaiting a ceremony at which U.S. President Barack Obama will honor the arrival of the bodies of of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans killed in the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Penetta have entered the hangar where the ceremony will take place at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.
[Updated at 2:22 p.m. ET] Marines will take the caskets off a plane at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will give remarks. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will also be present, Pentagon spokesman George Little said.
People are seated at a facility on the base. The caskets will flank the podium from which Obama and Clinton will speak.
[Updated at 1:41 p.m. ET] Three people were killed and 28 wounded during protests outside the U.S. Embassy in Tunis on Friday, Tunisia state television reported.
[Updated at 1:23 p.m. ET] U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will join Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at this afternoon's "transfer of remains ceremony" marking the return of the remains of the four Americans killed this week in Benghazi, Libya.
Obama and Clinton will deliver brief remarks at the 2:15 p.m. ET ceremony at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.
[Updated at 1:15 p.m. ET] Here is video from today's protests in Khartoum, Sudan:
[Updated at 12:23 p.m. ET] Nigerian military and police fired shots to disperse a crowd of protesters in the city of Jos, an eyewitness said.
About 2,000 people protesting the anti-Islamic film gathered at a central mosque, and security forces intervened when the crowd started moving toward the city center.
[Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET] Some protesters who scaled the gates of the U.S. Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia, reached a garden outside the building but have not breached the building itself, journalist Zeid Mhirsi reports.
Also, the thick, black smoke that we previously reported was near the Embassy is coming from burning vehicles on the Embassy grounds, Mhirsi reported.
Earlier, he reported that protesters took down a U.S. flag from a pole at the Embassy and replaced it with a black flag. Police were firing tear gas in an attempt to disperse them. (See 10:20 and 10:42 a.m. entries.) Hard-line Muslims known as Salafists were among the demonstrators, Mhirsi reported.
[Updated at 12:06 p.m. ET] Some Friday protests that hadn't yet been mentioned in this blog post:
- In Afghanistan, hundreds of demonstrators in the eastern Nangarhar province burned a U.S. flag and chanted "Death to America" and "We condemn the film." The demonstration lasted about an hour and ended peacefully, a local official said. The Afghan government has ordered an indefinite block of YouTube to prevent people there from watching the clips and staging violent protests.
- In Baghdad, Iraq, hundreds of followers of the radical Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr chanted "No to America, no to Israel."
- In Jerusalem, Palestinians marched from the al-Aqsa mosque toward the U.S. Consulate, but were prevented from reaching the mission by Israeli riot forces.
- In Syria, hundreds gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in Damascus. Protesters waved placards that condemned the film and blamed the U.S. administration for allowing the production and broadcast of it, according to the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency.
- In Iran, the Islamic Propagation Coordination Council called for nationwide rallies Friday to protest the film and what it is calling a U.S.-backed plot against Muslims, according to the state-run IRNA news agency.
[Updated at 11:57 a.m. ET] An update on Friday's protest outside the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan: Journalist Isma'il Kushkush says no protesters have been able to get inside the compound, and that police and security forces appear to have the situation under control.
Small fires are burning nearby. Kushkush said he believes protesters set tires ablaze. For more on the Khartoum protests, including one at the German Embassy there, see the 9:54 and 8:42 a.m. entries.
[Updated at 11:52 a.m. ET] Ninety-three protesters have been arrested in Egypt since Thursday night, Egyptian Interior Ministry spokesman Alaa Mahmoud said. Forty-eight officers have been injured, he added.
[Updated at 11:40 a.m. ET] Protesters in southern India have been arrested on suspicion of throwing rocks at the U.S. Consulate in Chennai, the city police commissioner said. As many as 200 protesters were demonstrating in front of the building, but the number arrested was not reported. There were no reported injuries.
[Updated at 10:57 a.m. ET] Video from Tunisia's capital shows thick, black smoke rising from an area near the U.S. Embassy. It's not clear what was on fire.
Protesters there had taken down a U.S. flag from the embassy property and replaced it with a black flag, journalist Zeid Mhirsi reported. Police fired tear gas at protesters as some of them climbed the property's walls.
[Updated at 10:42 a.m. ET] Protesters have taken down a U.S. flag from a pole at the U.S. Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia, and replaced it with a black flag, journalist Zeid Mhirsi reports.
Earlier, Mhirsi reported protesters were climbing the building's gates, and police fired tear gas in an attempt to disperse them. (See 10:20 a.m. entry.) Hard-line Muslims known as Salafists were among the demonstrators, Mhirsi reported.
[Updated at 10:25 a.m. ET] A U.S. Marine Corps security team is being sent to help protect U.S. diplomatic installations in Yemen, including the Embassy in Saana, a senior U.S. official said, according to CNN's Barbara Starr.
Earlier today, Yemeni police opened fire to stop protesters from reaching the U.S. Embassy in Saana, witnesses said (see 7:31 a.m. entry).
The protection team is similar to the team of 50 Marines that was sent earlier this this week to Tripoli, Libya, in the wake of the attack in Benghazi.
[Updated at 10:20 a.m. ET] Protesters are climbing the gates of the U.S. Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia, and police have fired tear gas in an attempt to disperse them, journalist Zeid Mhirsi reports.
Some protesters, who are about 20 meters outside the U.S. Embassy gates, are throwing rocks at the police, Mhirsi says. He says
that some protesters are waving black flags as they attempt to vandalize the gates.
[Updated at 10:15 a.m. ET] U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is scheduled to receive the remains of the U.S. diplomats killed in Libya at Andrews Air Force Base at 2 p.m. ET Friday.
[Updated at 10:13 a.m. ET] Add Tunisia to the list of Friday's protests. Hundreds of protesters have left Friday prayers and are heading to the U.S. Embassy in a neighborhood in Tunis, journalist Zeid Mhirsi reported. There is a strong Tunisian police presence in the area.
Hard-line Muslims known as Salafists were among the demonstrators, who were in pickup trucks and on foot.
[Updated at 9:54 a.m. ET] Ron Hawkins, a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, said that because Friday is a non-work day, most of the staff and Embassy personnel are not there as protesters gather outside the building. As far as security goes, Marines are assigned there, and local police officers were sent there earlier Friday as a precautionary measure, Hawkins said.
Earlier Friday, a fire was set at the vacated German Embassy as protesters gathered there. The protest at the U.S. building so has been peaceful, journalist Isma'il Kamal Kushkush said (see 8:42 a.m. entry).
[Updated at 9:31 a.m. ET] More information from Khartoum, Sudan: Protesters have gathered outside the U.S. Embassy there, a journalist at the scene said. The demonstration is peaceful so far.
Earlier today, protesters in Khartoum set the German Embassy on fire and also rallied outside the nearby UK Embassy (see 8:42 a.m. entry). The German Embassy was vacated before the protests.
[Updated at 9:24 a.m. ET] Lebanon has joined the list of Friday protests. One person was killed by police in Tripoli, Lebanon, after a group of armed men stormed a KFC restaurant amid protests in the city, Lebanese security forces told CNN.
About 40 armed men were spotted among 3,000 protesters, officials said.
Gen. Bassam Ayoubi, of the Lebanese internal security forces, said a group of armed men stormed the KFC and asked people to leave. Ayoubi said that the armed men then set the KFC on fire, at which time police arrived and began to fire at the armed men, killing at least one of them. Twenty-five were injured, he said, but it wasn't clear which of the injured were on which side.
[Updated at 9:09 a.m. ET] The German Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, was vacated before the protest that reportedly has set the building on fire, the German Foreign Ministry said.
The German Foreign Ministry also said that the Sudanese ambassador to Germany has been called in to the German
Foreign Ministry in Berlin to discuss the situation in Khartoum.
Journalist Isma'il Kamal Kushkush told CNN about 30 minutes ago that the German Embassy in Khartoum was on fire after protests against the online anti-Islam video.
[Updated at 9 a.m. ET] An update on protests in Egypt, while we await more information about the burning German Embassy in Sudan:
Fifteen protesters have been injured in Egypt on Friday, according to Dr. Mohamed Sultan, a health ministry spokesman. Most of the injuries were related to inhaling tear gas or getting it into their eyes.
Two hundred twenty-four people have been injured this week in protests in Cairo, 11 of whom have been hospitalized, Sultan said.
On Friday, officers armed with shields and batons, backed by an armored personnel carrier, rushed a group of several hundred protesters shortly after dawn to quell a violent demonstration that had raged through the night in Cairo. After the rush, a smaller number of demonstrators regrouped near the U.S. Embassy across from police lines, and stones and tear-gas canisters once again crossed in the air. Police fired rubber bullets at protesters. The army began constructing a wall of concrete blocks about 10 feet high across the road leading to the embassy.
Hours later, in the afternoon, youths climbed the newly built wall and threw rocks at police, according to eyewitnesses. Security forces fired tear gas and used water cannons to hold off the rioters. But 100 to 200 hundred meters away in Tahrir Square, a few thousand protesters congregated peacefully.
[Updated at 8:42 a.m. ET] The German Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan was on fire Friday after protests against the online anti-Islam video, a journalist on the scene, Isma'il Kamal Kushkush, said. No embassy personnel were believed to be inside.
The UK Foreign Office also says protesters were demonstrating Friday outside its embassy, next to the German Embassy, in Khartoum.
[Updated at 8:35 a.m. ET] U.S. embassies aren't the only Western diplomatic posts facing protests on Friday. Protests have been reported outside the UK and German embassies in Khartoum, Sudan.
UK Foreign Office Spokesperson Mandy Heffield confirmed there is an ongoing demonstration outside the British Embassy in Khartoum. Sudanese police are on the scene, Heffield said.
Earlier, a journalist on the scene said thousands of protesters had marched on the German Embassy in Khartoum, and that a few protesters jumped onto the embassy grounds and pulled down the German flag. Riot police fired tear gas, causing the protesters to pull back, the journalist said.
[Updated at 8:30 a.m. ET] Thousands of protesters marched on the German Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, on Friday, as protests against a short online film mocking the Prophet Mohammed swept across the Muslim world, a journalist on the scene said.
A few demonstrators were able to jump into the embassy grounds and pull down the German flag, Isma'il Kamal Kushkush said. Riot police fired tear gas, causing the protesters to pull back. The German Embassy is next to the British Embassy, which did not seem to be the focus of the demonstration.
[Updated at 7:40 a.m. ET] Afghanistan saw its first anti-American protest over the film Friday, as hundreds of demonstrators burned a U.S. flag and chanted "Death to America" and "We condemn the film."
The demonstration in Nangarhar province lasted about an hour and ended peacefully, said Zia Abdulzai, a spokesman for the governor of the eastern province.
[Posted 7:31 a.m. ET] Yemeni police opened fire Friday to stop protesters from reaching the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, witnesses told CNN.
Meanwhile, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood canceled nationwide demonstrations Friday, except for one in Cairo's Tahrir Square against the controversial film about the Prophet Mohammed, the group said in a Twitter message.
Why is it that wherever Islam is the predominate religion there is violence? People talk about and make fun of Christian preachers all the time. The name of Jesus and even God's name is used in cursing and swearing daily even by people who don't even believe they exist and Christian's don't go burning down buildings, shooting people and blowing up embassies. What's is your problem followers of Islam? Everyone is not going to convert to Islam and people have the right to talk, produce movies and music that you may not like but does it make Mohammad or Allah any less great then you believe them to be? As long as you believe them to be great in your hearts what difference does it make what a non-believer says or writes about them? If an Islamic movie producer or writer produced a book or movie that speaks negatively about God, Jesus or a pastor that I like or most other Christians like, I'd be willing to bet that the embassies for Iran, Saudi Arabia, UAE or any other Islamic country that is on American soil would not be blown up or have it's personnel killed like it's being done in Libya, Tunisia and other countries. If you are that sensitive about the strength, power and majesty of Mohammad and Allah based on what a non-believer says or writes about them, maybe you should believe in someone else. I seriously don't think Mohammad would think twice about it, why should you kill people over it?
It's fantastic to see how ignorance is still so prevalent in America, Honestly people in this country should educate themselves on Islam and what the holy Quran actually says and what it means to each and everyone as an individual, not as a whole. Every religion has it's fanatic's in them. Even here in America we aren't so tolerant of other people's belief, that on this website and many others talk about how Islam should be eradicated in this country and all over the world, but yet during the holy crusades christians murdered in the name of "GOD". they would also kill women and children and the sick, but hey I guess that's alright because christians were the ones doing the killing, so lets fast forward to now. It isn't much different with groups of muslim killing in the name of "ALLAH" if you don't partake in Islam. WRONG is WRONG no matter who is doing the killing. Whether or not if this filth of a movie is the root cause of innocent people being murdered, I think only those know you actually burned the embassy knows. what is sad is that 4 people lost their lives. Religion is and has been and will be the excuse for doing heinous acts to others.
Its a pity that only the whackos make the news... but here in the USA.. at least our whackos dont burn stuff routinely.
Congratulations. You sounded very intellectual and worldly. Now let's try reality and common sense. Yes, the crusades were heinous. They also took place CENTURIES AGO!!!! WHY is it that it is okay and in fact fashionable to denigrate Christianity and save for a few lunatics there are no riots? But some flake that nobody has ever heard of makes a Youtube video and Embassies are breached and people are killed. Whatâ€™s more it is not an isolated incident. These riotous crowds are in countries across the middle-east and are growing
@NIki, why should anyone need to know what the "holy" Quran says? It is irrelevant, really... One only needs to know what it says only if they want to argue about what it says, but one can easily show its irrelevance by not accepting assumptions required to believe what the book says (such as the supernatural). You are right, however, in saying that wrong is wrong (that's a tautology), and I agree with you that it's nonsense no matter where it comes from. The argument goes that Christians, nowadays, are not as reactive as Muslims are, generally speaking. Are you denying that?
Religion is the problem, and that's what it boils down to.
Need some clarification. No 1: "God" is not a name. The name of God in the Christian religion is "I am", or "Yahweh" (No, its not "Jehovah, that was a result of Sans Script and has been wrong ever since). No 2: The Crusades were a response to decades long violence by Muslims through their own crusades.
Does it not strike you as odd that, to find a comparable period of time where Christians behaved violently towards non-Christians, you have to go back nearly a full millennium? Back to a time when persecution for beliefs outside the norm and for speaking your mind was most-times a death sentence or at least public floggings? I'm not sure I would consider the 13th century or earlier a good gauge for basing civilization off of. Civilized people don't kill others for having thoughts different than their own. Civilized people should be able to let others live peacefully. But, to your point, the Christians doing the killings back in the time of the crusades were indeed no better than the radical Muslims today that target the innocent. I guess the difference is that Christians, more-over, have evolved over the last 700 years to realize the differences between right and wrong. Sure, there are some radicals out there that would kill innocents for their Christian beliefs, but who among us, Christian, followers of Islam, or anywhere, believe there are whole cities or even countries full of such radicals? The radical Christians don't gain a following because they are shunned by the true Christians. It certainly seems that way too many Muslims are willing to tolerate if not join the radicals. You speak of us educating ourselves on what the Quran says, but the problem is, whether the Quran justifies the murdering of innocents or not (which I am prettu sure it does not), the radicals take it that way and have no problem killing "the infidels". So perhaps rather than speaking to the people being targeted by the misguided following of the Quran, Muslims should be striving harder to eradicate the radicals and educating them towards a better understanding of the Quran.
The PENTAGON must be thrilled that more Americans are being frightened by Islamic extremism, because now they can frighten more TRILLIONS $$$$ out of Congress and you gullible taxpayers. The fact is that more than 50,000 Americans are KILLED EVERY YEAR BY PREVENTABLE MEDICAL MISTAKES in their own hospitals and clinics. That's more than 500,000 Americans killed by medical goofs in the 10 years since 911, more than 100 times the number killed in the attack. Yet medical safety gets only a tiny pittance of money compared to the trillions wasted by the Pentagon. You American taxpayers are so ignorant, you fall for this Islamic bogeyman threat, while you're hundreds of times more likely to be killed in your own hospital by some stupid mistake! The Pentagon thanks you for your ignorance!
I'd hardly equate a medical "goof" to outrageous, premeditated violence
I'm sure Chris Stevens thanks the Democrats for their ignorance. So we're even.
I find it interesting that the media continues to report the protest is because of the film when it has been uncovered the acts of war are due to a coordinated attacks for 9/11 that the US Government was aware of all along. Quit with the politics and tell the TRUTH!!!!
The media is trying to get Obama re-elected by spinning this as NOT a lapse in Obama's quality of judgment on the intelligence we were getting from the region. But there were all these videos from AQ; you didn't have to be an analyst with a security clearance to read them - they were all on the internet.
Coordinated attacks don't come from a four month old movie!
Everyone except the "experts" know it.
It was a coordinated effort to embarrass US/Obama on 9-11.
This is a laugh.
Someone said something that we don't like!... lets burn stuff and injure people YAY!
Way to bring a compelling argument to the table Tunis..
I swear half the time the mid east acts like a child throwing a temper tantrum.
The Muslim community needs to grow a thicker skin.
Agreed but they are bathed in Islamic hate propaganda on TV and radio, some of it state-sponsored, and now with the MB and fundamentalists in better standing we can only expect to see more of it.
It reminds me of Nazi Germany. A few fundamentalist fascists took charge and killed dissenters. Adolph hated the Jews because so many German Jews were in parties of opposition. Hitler found hate and oppression a useful tool to come to power.
How does that parallel the Magreb? The whole Muslim world? Meanwhile, Obama refuses to say "violence" and "Islam" in the same sentence.
Let me guess, no Marines at the Sudan or Tunis embassies either? Obama, pull your head out of your butt and do your friggin duty for once!!!!
does CNN know that Libya is in africa?
These "protesters" (aka terrorists) claim that Islam is peaceful, yet they leave directly from their Friday "prayers" at their mosques to go fight and kill innocent Americans. Can someone please explain how that is peaceful in any way whatsoever? How can they go from prayer to murder in less than an hour and still claim to be peaceful? This is what's wrong with the world today. Religion means nothing and is used as a tool to justify these violent atrocities. All religions are part of the problem because each one thinks they are so right and everyone else is wrong that they are willing to abandon the core principles of the religion in order to create chaos and murder. When is the world going to grow up and realize that it is pointless to kill each other over imaginary ideas?
Religion of peace my butt.
This such a stupid headline! "Protests spread to Africa...." These protests started in Libya and Egypt. What continent are Egypt and Libya? DUH!
LOL. They are just kids. That's why they are so sick in the head for Obama's meaningless rhetoric.
Suppose if someone made a movie about Christianity and depicted Jesus as a married man with kids and that he was not the son of God. How would Christians react? Would Christians complain peacefully or would they act like this? The movie was made to upset Muslims and although I do not condone violence i can understand why they would be upset.
They have several times. Remember the "Last Temptation of Christ", "Dogma", "South Park", etc. You can even throw in several films about the Catholic Church. Reading these posts makes me realize people really are stupid.
JohnnyBoy, if you have ever seen Christians set stuff on fire over a movie depicting something, and there have been plenty, show me the link. Why? Because we are all Americans who respect freedom of speech. We all realize that we don't have to buy the ticket. The Catholic Church boycotted The Exorcist. I didn't see it until I was an adult. Stupid movie. Did anyone blow stuff up and kill people though? NOPE. Try to censor or punish Hollywood? NOPE.
Welcome to freedom.
None of the movies you mentioned went as far as this one. What the movie maker did went farther than any of these movies did. If any of these movies actually depicted Jesus as a man who was married to Mary Magdeline and had kids, I could see you point. But they didn't.
Do people really still believe it's about the film?
Or that it was really about cartoons, or teddy bears, or some guy burning a bible in rural Florida?
Denial runs deep.
They hate us and no amount of groveling or appeasement is going to change that.
Thank GOD this was not under President Bushâ€¦ wait I sure Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reed are trying to figure a way to blame Bush.