Black smoke rising from U.S. embassy in Tunisia

Anti-American protests have erupted across the Middle East

Topics: Middle East, Israel, Human Rights, Sam Bacile, Innocence of Muslims, Conflict

Black smoke rising from U.S. embassy in TunisiaTunisian protestors, staging an overnight protest, demonstrate in front of the prime minister office in Tunis last year. (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi)

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — A large cloud of black smoke rose around the U.S. embassy in Tunis Friday as stone-throwing protesters and police waged a pitched battle.

Thousands of demonstrators massed outside the embassy and several were seen climbing the outer wall of the embassy grounds and raising a flag on which was written the Muslim profession of faith, an Associated Press reporter on the scene said.

Police responded by firing tear gas, and police gunfire could be heard.

A group of several dozen protesters briefly managed to enter the embassy compound and set fire to cars in an embassy parking lot. They were pushed back outside by police and special forces who continued to arrive on the scene.

Crowds angry over an anti-Muslim film ridiculing the Prophet Muhammad have assaulted U.S. embassies across the Middle East.

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