Four suspects reportedly arrested in breach of U.S. Embassy in Cairo


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CAIRO -- Four suspects accused of breaching the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo were arrested Wednesday, Egyptian state media reported.


The brief report from the official Middle East News Agency said the four arrestees had been transferred to the state prosecutor. Security forces were still searching for others who had scaled the embassy walls during a demonstration Tuesday, the news agency said.

Protesters enraged over a film mocking the Islamic prophet Muhammad climbed over the embassy walls and tore down an American flag, briefly raising a black flag that carried the words: ‘There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet.’

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More severe violence erupted later Tuesday in Libya, where U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed as a mob attacked and burned the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.

Egyptian officials have condemned the movie but stressed that the U.S. government had nothing to do with making the film, calling the Tuesday incident “regrettable and unacceptable.”

The Egyptian prosecutor general has also placed nine Coptic Christians living abroad and Florida pastor Terry Jones, who praised and promoted the amateur film, on a travel watch list. Jones and the Copts are wanted for questioning by Egyptian officials after several lawyers filed complaints against them, alleging they were tied to the film and had defamed Islam.


The U.S. Embassy in Cairo said visa services Wednesday and Thursday were canceled. The embassy said it would still be offering emergency services to American citizens, who it advised to avoid large areas where large gatherings may occur.

‘The security situation remains fluid,’ it warned on its website.

[For the record, 10:42 a.m. Sept. 12: A previous version of this post incorrectly stated that the embassy would be closed Thursday; it will be open but visa services are not being offered.]

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-- Reem Abdellatif in Cairo and Emily Alpert in Los Angeles