Egyptian protestors scaled the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on Tuesday to protest an upcoming film release they say portrays the Prophet Mohammed in a negative light.
Meanwhile, an armed mob stormed and set fire to the U.S. Consulate Tuesday in Benghazi, Libya.
The Associated Press described the Cairo protesters as "largely ultra-conservative Islamists." The mob made their way into the courtyard of the embassy, tore down the American flag, ripped it up and burned it. They then attempted to raise their own flag with the words of the shahada, the Islamic creed, which reads, "There is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is his messenger."
The crowds chanted "We are all Osama bin Laden" and "Obama, we are here to sacrifice for Osama," Bloomberg reported, as the U.S. marked the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Estimates by Reuters put the number of protesters outside the walls at around 2,000.
No one was reported injured. Embassy officials told the AP that there was no one inside the embassy at the time.
A U.S. Embassy official disputed a report that embassy guards had fired their weapons at the protesters, CBS reported.
The call to protest was issued by Wesam Abdel-Wareth, a Salafist leader and president of Egypt's Hekma television channel, the state-run Ahram Online website reported.
It said the film is called "Muhammad's Trial" and is being produced by U.S.-based Coptic-Christian Egyptians with the support of Terry Jones, the Florida pastor who threatened to burn Qurans on the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. No one answered the phone at his Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville.
Clips from the film were posted on YouTube and dubbed in Egyptian Arabic. The video depicts Muhammad as a fraud, showing him having sex and calling for massacres.
In Benghazi, nobody was reported to be in the consulate at the time, Libyan Interior Ministry official Wanis al-Sharef told the Associated Press.
Libya is going through a political transition following the popular uprising against Muammar Gaddafi last year that ousted the longtime dictator and ended with his murder at the hands of rebel forces backed by U.S.-led NATO airstrikes.
In this politically unstable environment, Libya faces a resurgent Islamist movement that seeks the establishment of Sharia law, while other factions seek a more secular form of government.
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