US Embassy Tunisia: Protesters breach and set compound on fire (video); Embassy now on Ordered Departure

One of our readers (thanks D!) gave us a heads-up on this video of the protesters breaching the US Embassy Tunis compound on September 14. The 8:34 min video was posted in YouTube by www.businessnews.com.tn , based in Tunisia, titled  “Les salafistes forcent l’entrée de l’ambassade américaine de Tunis et hissent leur drapeau” (The Salafist force the entrance of the American Embassy in Tunis and hoisted their flag). No translation available for the video content.

It does not look like the embassy outer walls have concertina wires. And while it appears from looking at this video that the protesters breached the compound and one building, and torched some vehicles, it is not clear that they got into the chancery.

Another video here with reporting from Al Jazeera.

The Warden Message issued by US Embasy Tunis says that “Violent demonstrators attacked the US Embassy and the nearby American School in Tunis on the afternoon of September 14, 2012, resulting in severe property damage.  Riots and security operations continue.  No casualties have been reported.  No other reports of violence towards Americans in Tunisia have been reported.”

The Associated Press reports that the protests outside the U.S. Embassy in Tunis against an anti-Muslim film were met with tear gas and gunshots Friday, leaving two people dead, around 40 others injured and plumes of black smoke wafting over the city.

The Globe and Mail also reports that a Tunisian employee of the embassy with an injured leg was taken out by stretcher to an ambulance.

Today, the Department of State warned U.S. citizens against all travel to Tunisia.  It also announced that yesterday, it ordered the departure of all non-emergency U.S. government personnel from the country, following the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Tunis.  The airport in Tunis is reportedly open and U.S. citizens are encouraged to depart by commercial air. Read the new Travel Warning here.

This follows the September 12 ordered departure of all non-emergency U.S. government personnel from Libya, following the attack on the U.S. Diplomatic mission in Benghazi.

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