Egypt's Morsi Belatedly Denounces Embassy Attacks

Mohamed Morsi calls Cairo attacks 'unlawful acts'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2012 7:45 AM CDT
An Egyptian protester throws back a tear gas canister toward riot police, unseen, outside the US embassy in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012.   (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)
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(Newser) – Violence in Egypt continued today as protesters upset about an anti-Islam film clashed with police around the US Embassy in Cairo, Reuters reports. At least 13 people have been injured; CNN reports that six of those are police officers. At the European Union today for his first Western visit, President Mohamed Morsi denounced the Cairo attacks and also condemned the related attacks on the US consulate in Libya, the AP reports. But it took him nearly a full day to do so, and his declaration came after a phone call with President Obama that the Atlantic Wire describes as "tense." During the call, Morsi denounced the film that sparked the violence and asked Obama "to put an end to such behavior." The White House is now more concerned about its relationship with Egypt than Libya, where US Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed, the New York Times reports; the US was already concerned about the direction of Morsi's Islamist government before his response to the attacks—which the Times describes as "tepid." More from Egypt and Libya:

  • Two US warships are en route to Libya after Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the violence there, the AP reports. They will be stationed off the Libya coast. A fleet of Marines and military aircraft had already reportedly been sent.
  • Not everyone in Libya is chanting against America: The Atlantic Wire has a touching photo gallery showing pro-American rallies, with signs like, "Chris Stevens was a friend to all Libyans" and "Thugs and killers don't represent Benghazi nor Islam."
  • The Obama administration is looking into the possibility that the Libya attack was a terrorist strike specifically planned for the September 11 anniversary, the AP reports. The White House definitely suspects the attack was planned, rather than the spontaneous actions of an angry mob.
  • Meanwhile, WikiLeaks has a different idea on what spurred the attacks. "By the US accepting the UK siege on the Ecuadorian embassy in London [where Julian Assange is currently holed up] it gave tacit approval for attacks on embassies around the world," read a post on its official Twitter feed, the Guardian reports. After an uproar, the tweet was deleted and amended twice. First: "By the US accepting the UK threat to storm the Ecuadorian embassy in London it helped to normalize attacks on embassies." Then: "By the UK threatening to breach the Ecuadorian embassy in London it helped to normalize attacks on embassies, in general. It must retract."
Protests have also broken out in Yemen, and of course, the backlash over Mitt Romney's response continues. (Read more Innocence of Muslims stories.)

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