Yemeni protestors have stormed the grounds of the American embassy in Yemen’s capital Sanaa following yesterday’s deadly riots in Benghazi, triggering US President Barack Obama to dispatch US Marine Corps units to Libya.
Riots in Yemen, in which protesters gained access to the compound before setting fire to vehicles, highlights a second day of violence triggered by a controversial film which allegedly insulted the Prophet Mohammad.
A 14 minute trailer for the film, named ‘The Innocence of Muslims’, was posted onto YouTube and made several inflammatory allegations about Islam.
Riots were initially centred in the Libyan city of Benghazi and Egyptian capital of Cairo, with attacks on the US consulate in Benghazi claiming the lives of four embassy officials, including that of the US ambassador to Libya Christoper Stevens.
The US has reacted strongly to the attacks, with President Obama pledging to bring those responsible to justice. "Make no mistake. Justice will be done. The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack," said Obama. A 50-strong US Marine Corps anti-terrorist security team has been dispatched to hunt for those responsible. The teams will also be supported by two destroyers, moved to the vicinity of Libya as a precautionary measure.
The move to send reinforcements comes as little surprise following increasing speculation that the attack on the Benghazi consulate could have been aided by Islamic extremist linked to al Qaeda.
Whilst the attackers were originally thought to be part of a spontaneous mob provoked by the film, they were reportedly armed with mortars and rocket propelled grenades and speculation has arisen that the attacks could be linked with the death of a deputy leader of al Qaeda or the 11th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks.