|An injured protestor lies on the ground during clashes between protestors and riot police in front of the U.S. embassy in Cairo on Sept. 12, 2012. An Egyptian ministerial meeting held Wednesday demanded the U.S. government to show a clear-cut stance against a filmmaker whose movie they say insults the Muslim Prophet. (Xinhua/Amru Salahuddien)
CAIRO, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- At least 70 people were injured in clashes in front of the U.S. embassy in the Egyptian capital of Cairo, the state TV reported on Thursday, quoting Egypt's Health Ministry.
At least 24 security personnel, including six officers and 18 soldiers, were injured at the scene, the report said.
The Egyptian Ambulance Authority said that most injuries are being treated on spot and are in stable conditions, but about seven protesters have been transferred to neighboring governmental hospitals.
Over the recent days, an alleged U.S. commissioned movie, which has contents that insult Muslim's Prophet Mohammed, has ignited violence protesters across the Arab world. In a deadly attack in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi on Tuesday night, the U.S. ambassador to Libya was killed after armed men angered by the insulting movie stormed the U.S. consulate building and set it ablaze.
"U.S. President Barack Obama rejects attempts to disdain Islam, " while "affirming there is no justification for violence against innocents or acts threatening the American individuals and their buildings," according to a statement issued by the U.S. embassy.
Earlier in the day, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi received a phone call from Obama to review the strategic partnership between Egypt and the United States as well as the ongoing efforts to strengthen bilateral economic and security cooperation, the official MENA news agency reported.
Morsi has expressed condolences for the American victims in Libya, asserting "Egypt respects its pledges to guarantee the safety of the American missions on its lands."
He also vowed to protect foreigners in Egypt during a news conference in Brussels where he was making his first European trip, adding that he supported peaceful protest but not attacks on embassies.
A statement issued on Thursday by the Egyptian presidency said that "During the phone conversation with U.S. president, Morsi expressed Muslims and Egyptian terrible feelings in regard to offending the prophet."
Acts of minority could stir hatred and weaken the good relations among the Egyptian and American peoples, the statement said, expecting a reaction from the American citizens and a confirmation from Washington not to disdain sanctuaries.
Meanwhile, Egypt's Interior Minister Ahmed Gamaleddin, who inspected the area around the U.S. embassy in Cairo, urged policemen to be more self-restraint when dealing with the protests.
MENA quoted a security source as saying security forces managed to arrest 23 violent protesters.
An Egyptian association called Coptic "Adventists" congregation condemned the movie offensive to the Muslims' prophet, saying "it hurts the feelings of both Muslims and Coptic," according to MENA.
"The movie has been produced by a minority which doesn't know the meaning of love, respect and responsibility," it said.
Abdullah Ali, 22-year-old, told Xinhua "we urge all the Arab countries to take united strict stance against those offending Islam."
"We urge the president to adopt diplomatic decision likewise expelling the American ambassador to Cairo, or summon the Egyptian ambassador to U.S.," another protester said, adding the embassy is empty and now whether police members or protestors, "we are Egyptians clashing with each other."
As of Thursday afternoon, hundreds of protesters still flooded the roads leading to the U.S. embassy from the Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo. Most of them belong to ultra conservative Salafist.
A police vehicle was set ablaze by the protesters, and the clashes show no sign of an end any time soon. Central security forces have used teargas to disperse the protesters who threw stones and bottles at the security members protecting the embassy.
The U.S. embassy announced on Thursday the closure of the visa department. All appointments with regard to the visa services are cancelled. Just very few employees are in the embassy to finish some urgent work.
On Wednesday, the Egyptian government denounced the movie " Innocence of Muslims" as offensive to Prophet Mohammed and immoral, and assigned the Egyptian embassy in Washington to take necessary legal procedures against the filmmaker.
Protesters surrounding U.S. embassy in Cairo over movie insulting Prophet
CAIRO, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- Several thousands of Egyptians protested Tuesday in front of the U.S. embassy in the capital Cairo against a movie which insults the Prophet Mohammed, state media reported.
Some protesters pulled down the American flag, expressing their anger over a movie produced by some Coptic migrants in the United States which was deemed offensive to the Prophet Mohammed, according to a statement on Ahram newspaper's website. Full story