Angry Yemeni protesters have stormed the U.S. Embassy complex in Sanaa. Police fired into the air in a bid to disperse the rioters, but they entered the embassy compound and set fire to vehicles.
A video by Al-Jazeera television showed demonstrators jumping up and down on the parapet of the building and scaling the walls. Young demonstrators shouting, "We redeem, messenger of God," smashed windows of the security offices outside the embassy with stones and burned cars before breaking through the main gate of the compound. Others held aloft banners declaring “Allah is Greatest" and "O, Jews: Khaybar, Khaybar. The army of Mohammad will return," they chanted evoking a 7th century war in the west of the Arabian Peninsula in which the Muslims are said to have defeated the Jews.
According to security source, four protester have been shot dead and more than 15 others have been wounded with 12 people were arrested by Yemeni police trying to control a mob attempting to storm the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa.
Another security source told Reuters that at least 30 protesters were injured, some by bullets, during clashes with security forces. However, police claimed only water cannons were used to disperse the protesters, not bullets.
According to the correspondent of Al-Arabiya news, the soldiers from the Yemeni army are marching beside protesters inside the U.S. Embassy cordon toward the building itself.
As for the American diplomats: Everyone is OK and no injuries have been reported. Earlier, Yemeni sources confirmed that most American diplomats had left Yemen as a precaution. The official who confirmed this news refused to clarify if the diplomats left Yemen at the request of the U.S. government or the Yemen government, but he stressed that Yemen is committed to the security of all diplomats of all countries who are present on Yemeni land.
Meanwhile, Yemeni President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, apologized to the U.S. over the attack on the embassy and ordered an investigation into the incident.
Moreover, according to Reuters, Yemen's embassy in Washington condemned the attack and vowed to ensure the safety of foreign diplomats and to step up security measures around their missions in the country. They also said that no casualties had been reported in the incident.
I have followed the news of demonstrations in Yemen more than any other news. The reason for this was my fear that al-Qaida members might interfere with acts of sabotage, taking advantage of the chaos, especially in that al-Qaida are looking for opportunities to take revenge either from Yemeni security or from Americans, both civilians and militants.
We notice from the report that some news correspondents who were at the event noted that Yemeni security did not deal firmly with the demonstration at the beginnin and that some of them even participated in riots therein, but unfortunately it seems that this news did not get adequate media coverage.
The end of today's events does not mean that it will not be repeated, in particular that there are suspicions that al-Qaida, with the help of some members who are within the Yemeni security, will take an action against Americans or Yemeni security.
The departure of American diplomats from the embassy in Yemen was a wise decision, whether it was based on U.S or Yemeni governments' request. Apparently the scenario that happened in Benghazi, Libya will not be repeated.
As to the state of anger dominating the Arab and Muslim world, the reaction in general is not as before; it did not previously exceed slogans and peaceful protests. Now, they can not control their madness any more. There are calls demanding not to deal with Americans. Perhaps the American wisdom must intervene to put an end to this mess, although I doubt it could be controlled soon.