U.S. Embassy protests continue in Egypt

(CBS News) CAIRO - The Internet film that ridicules the Muslim faith touched off a protest at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt. Protesters got inside the embassy grounds, but no Americans were hurt.

The Egyptian riot police moved in and pushed protesters away from the U.S. Embassy. Some of them threw stones at police, and they responded by firing tear gas canisters into the crowd. But the Egyptian authorities seem to be saying that their tolerance for these demonstrations is limited.

For the second day in a row, protesters vented their anger in front of the U.S. Embassy.

The protests began Tuesday when thousands of conservative Muslims marched on the embassy, furious about an American-made film they believe mocks the prophet Muhammad, the worst insult in the Islamic religion.

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A group of demonstrators scaled the embassy wall and succeeded in pulling down the American flag, tearing it to shreds, and then setting it on fire.

It was replaced briefly with a black flag favored by Islamic militants.

An Egyptian man chants slogans during a demonstration in front of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo Sept. 12, 2012.
An Egyptian man chants slogans during a demonstration in front of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo Sept. 12, 2012.
AP Photo

As Egyptian riot police stood by and watched, protests continued late into the night.

"Producing that film will do you no good," they chanted. "We will chop off your hands" -- anti-American outrage that sparked fresh demonstrations in Cairo and around the Muslim world.

The Egyptian government is in a very difficult situation. On the one hand, Egypt is an American ally and these protests don't do that relationship any good, which could be one reason the riot police moved in Wednesday evening. On the other hand, the Egyptian president, Mohammed Morsi, draws support from conservative Muslims. That could be one reason he has been seen join them in condemning the film that sparked these protests.

  • Holly Williams

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