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Deaths in Tunisia as rage over anti-Islam film spreads

At least three protesters have died in Tunisia as mobs attacked the US embassy. International protests at a video deemed offensive to Islam earlier saw the German embassy in Sudan attacked.

Protesters run for cover during a demonstration in front of the U.S. Embassy in Tunis September 14, 2012. At least five protesters were wounded when Tunisian police opened fire on Friday to quell an assault on the U.S. embassy compound in the capital Tunis, a Reuters reporter said. It was not immediately clear if police fired live rounds or rubber bullets. A large fire erupted inside the compound which has been invaded by hundreds of people incensed by a U.S.-made film that demeans the Prophet Mohammad. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi (TUNISIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST RELIGION)

Protest Mohammed Film Anti Islam Tunesien Tunis

State television in Tunisia said that three people had died on Friday as police fought off hundreds of protesters who attacked the embassy.

Tunisian security personnel were reported to have fired live rounds, while protesters smashed windows and threw petrol bombs and stones at the police from inside the embassy.

Fires were started inside the embassy and the compound, with smoke seen rising from the grounds.

Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki condemned what he called "an attack against the embassy of a friendly nation."

Outrage at the content of the video spread beyond the Arab world on Friday, with protests as far afield as Bangladesh and Indonesia. The 14-minute movie trailer, deemed to insult Islam's prophet Muhammad, has generated fury, with Western interests - including the German embassy in Sudan - attacked in several countries.

Watch video 01:30

Islamic world rages against video

Sudanese radio reported that three people had died in the capital, Khartoum.

Sudan's police force had used tear gas to stop more than 5,000 demonstrators from storming the German and British embassies. Some were able to storm the main gates of the German embassy. The protesters attacked its facade and tore down the flag, replacing it with a black Islamic one before setting fire to the building.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday voiced her "great worry" about the violence.

"The persistent violence in the Arab world fills me with fear. I forcefully condemn the attacks against the German embassy in Khartoum, as well as those against several American embassies," Merkel said.

"Arab governments must do everything to ensure security at diplomatic missions," she said.

'The tyranny of a mob'

As the remains of four American diplomats killed in an attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya on Tuesday were repatriated, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the violence.

Referring to attacks on embassies in countries transformed as a result of last year's so-called Arab Spring, Clinton said that the "people of Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and Tunisia did not trade the tyranny of a dictator for the tyranny of a mob."

Washington was reported on Friday to have deployed US Marines to protect its embassies in Libya and Yemen.

rc/slk (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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