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US seeks to protect embassies


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US seeks to protect embassies

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(CNN) — Even as anti-American violence eased Saturday around the Muslim world, tensions remained high — stoked, in some nations, by the prospect of U.S. troops arriving to protect U.S. diplomatic missions.
The widespread protests connected to an online trailer for an inflammatory anti-Islam film privately produced in the United States were relatively thin and calm, and in some places nonexistent, on Saturday compared to earlier in the week.
Yet even with this relative break, the furor has not gone away completely, nor has concern over safety and security at U.S. embassies.
To that end, U.S. officials said earlier this week that Marine teams would be dispatched to protect U.S. diplomatic missions in Libya, Yemen and Sudan in the wake of anti-Western unrest in those countries.
But U.S. troops haven’t necessarily been welcomed.
Yemen’s parliament issued a statement early Sunday demanding U.S. Marines leave the Arab country immediately, calling the presence of any foreign forces — and U.S. troops in particular — “unacceptable.”
Some leading politicians, like Ahmed al-Bahri of the opposition Haq party, warned that even a few dozen American troops could “open the doors of hell for Yemen and give terrorists an excuse.” Others like Abdul Majid al-Zindani, president of Yemen’s Cleric Committee, equated the U.S. troops arrival to a foreign occupation.
Zaid al-Thari, a political adviser to Yemen’s ruling General People’s Congress, speculated that the U.S. Marines recent arrival raises doubts about who was behind this week’s attacks on the U.S embassy in Sanaa that left four protesters dead.
“In the end of the day, the United States is benefiting more than all and was able to bring its forces inside Yemen,” said al-Thari.
Even with the arrival of its troops, the U.S. government isn’t taking chances in Yemen — closing its embassy in Sanaa through Saturday, September 29, because of the threat of “potential demonstrations,” according to the State Department.
Meanwhile, U.S. Marines that were to travel to Sudan have returned pending further talks with the government there, a U.S. official said.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Saturday that Washington has requested “additional security precautions” in Sudan, whose government “has recommitted itself both publicly and privately to continue to protect our (diplomatic) mission.”
 

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