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FLASHBACK: US embassies, diplomats under attack

Last updated on: September 14, 2012 11:30 IST

FLASHBACK: US embassies, diplomats under attack

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United States President Barack Obama ordered tighter security at American diplomatic posts around the world following the attacks on the consulate in Libya that left four Americans dead, including Ambassador Chris Stevens and the the embassy in Cairo.

Security threats to US diplomatic missions overseas have always been a concern. Rediff.com takes a look at the dark history of American embassies and consulates abroad.

Hundreds of protesters angered by an anti-Islam film stormed the US Embassy compound in Yemen's capital Sanaa on Thursday.

protesters smashed windows as they breached the embassy perimeter and reached the compound grounds, although they did not enter the main building housing the offices.

Angry young men brought down the US flag in the courtyard, burned it and replaced it with a black banner bearing Islam's declaration of faith -- "There is no God but Allah".

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Image: A vehicle burns at the US embassy in Sanaa on September 13, 2012
Photographs: Mohamed al-Sayaghi/Reuters

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September 2012: Benghazi, Libya

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A burnt car is parked at the US consulate, which was attacked and set on fire by gunmen on Wednesday, in Benghazi.

Christopher Stevens (inset), the US ambassador to Libya, and three embassy staff were killed as they rushed away from the consulate building, stormed by Al Qaeda linked gunmen blaming America for a film that they said insulted Prophet Mohammad.

Stevens was trying to leave the consulate building for a safer location as part of an evacuation when gunmen launched an intense attack, apparently forcing security personnel to withdraw.

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Photographs: Esam Al-Fetori/Reuters

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September 2012: Cairo, Egypt

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A policeman stands guard near a wall with graffiti at the US embassy, where protesters gather to condemn a film being produced in the US that insulted Prophet Mohammad, in Cairo.

On Tuesday, the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, several men scaled the walls of the US embassy in Cairo and tore down its US flag.

Riot police fired warning shots and tear gas early Thursday outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo to keep hundreds of protesters away from the building's perimeter, witnesses said.

Six police officers suffered minor injuries during the clashes, said Alla Mahmoud, a spokesman for the Egyptian Interior Ministry.

About 500 protesters turned out Wednesday in Cairo to demonstrate against a film that mocks Islam's prophet.

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Photographs: Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters

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November 2011: Karachi, Pakistan

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Protestors, demonstrating against North Atlantic Treaty Organisation cross-border attack, help a man attach Pakistan's national flag on barbed wire surrounding the US consulate in Karachi November 27, 2011.

Thousands of people gathered outside the US consulate to protest against the air attack that killed 24 Pakistani troops.

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Photographs: Athar Hussain/Reuters

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October 2011: Sarajevo, Bosnia

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A gunman with an automatic weapon walks in Sarajevo, after he fired shots at the US embassy, October 28, 2011.

The gunman with an automatic weapon opened fire at the embassy in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo and police rushed to the scene, a Reuters witness said.

A Reuters photographer said police were trying to surround the gunman, who was armed with a Kalashnikov rifle.

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Photographs: Dado Ruvic/Reuters

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September 2011: Kabul, Afghanistan

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A US embassy worker holds his body armour and helmet as he walks in the US embassy compound in Kabul September 14, 2011.

A marathon siege in Kabul's diplomatic enclave ended with the death of the last two of a group of gunmen who had held off Western and Afghan security forces for nearly 20 hours, showering rockets on Western embassies in a dramatic show of insurgent strength.

US Ambassador Ryan Crocker said around six or seven rockets had hit inside the embassy perimeter during the early hours of the attack, launched early on Tuesday afternoon, but said the range meant they had not posed a serious threat.

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Photographs: Rafiq Maqbool/Reuters

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September 2011: Kabul, Afghanistan

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An Afghan policeman inspects a building after a battle with Taliban insurgents near the US embassy in Kabul September 14, 2011.

An assault by Taliban insurgents on the heart of Kabul's diplomatic and military enclave ended after 20 hours when security forces killed the last of six attackers.

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Photographs: Ahmad Masood/Reuters

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September 2011: Tripoli, Libya

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Documents are seen on the ground inside the US embassy in Tripoli September 12, 2011.

The embassy in Tripoli was attacked by pro-Gaddafi forces.

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Photographs: Suhaib Salem/Reuters
Tags: Tripoli , Libya , US

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June 2010: Karachi, Pakistan

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Riot policemen are silhouetted in a cloud of tear gas after dispersing activists who were marching in protest towards the US embassy in Karachi on June 1, 2010.

Hundreds of activists marched towards the US embassy in Karachi denouncing Israel and it's allies for storming a Turkish aid ship bound for Gaza.

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Photographs: Akhtar Soomro/Reuters
Tags: Karachi , US , Israel , Gaza

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April 2010: Peshawar, Pakistan

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A cloud of smoke rises after an explosion near the US consulate in Peshawar April 5, 2010. Militants using a car bomb and firing weapons attacked the US consulate in the Pakistani city of Peshawar.

Pakistani Taliban militants claimed responsibility for the attack on the consulate, in which eight people including three militants were killed but no one in the mission was hurt.

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Photographs: K Parvez/Reuters
Tags: Peshawar , US , Pakistan

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September 2008: Sanaa, Yemen

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Smoke is seen billowing outside the US embassy in Sanaa September 17, 2008.

Two suicide car bombs set off a series of explosions outside the heavily fortified US embassy in Yemen, killing 16 people including six attackers, a Yemeni Interior Ministry official said.

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Photographs: Yemen News Agency/Reuters

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July 2008: Istanbul, Turkey

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A police officer inspects a guard post after a shooting incident in front of the US consulate in Istanbul July 9, 2008.

Three Turkish policemen and three gunmen were killed in the attack on the United States consulate in Istanbul.

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Photographs: Yemen News Agency/Reuters

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March 2008: Baghdad, Iraq

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Plumes of smoke rise from the US embassy compound in Baghdad's Green Zone March 27, 2008.

A giant column of black smoke was visible near the embassy after mortar strike, a Reuters reporter said, but the embassy said there were no serious injuries.

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Photographs: Yemen News Agency/Reuters
Tags: Baghdad , Reuters , US , Iraq

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January 2008: Beirut, Lebanon

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Lebanese firemen extinguish a car burning at the site of an explosion in a suburb north of Beirut January 15, 2008.

At least three people were killed in an explosion in Beirut, which wounded a passenger in a diplomatic car, security sources said, and Lebanon's LBC television channel said a US embassy car was hit.

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Photographs: Rafi Barbarian/Reuters
Tags: LBC , Beirut , Lebanon , US

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September 2006: Damascus, Syria

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The US flag is seen over the US embassy in Damascus, which was the target of a gunmen attack September 12, 2006.

Four gunmen attacked the embassy in Damascus, but failed to harm any American diplomats before all four were killed.

Syrian state television said the attackers had tried to detonate a car bomb in front of the embassy but had failed.

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Photographs: Khaled al-Hariri/Reuters

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February 2006: Jakarta, Indonesia

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Members of the Indonesian Islamic Defender's Front throw eggs and stones during a protest, against cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad that were published in European papers, outside the US embassy in Jakarta.

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Photographs: Reuters

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August 1998: Nairobi, Kenya

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An aerial view of the bomb blast area in Nairobi is seen in this picture taken August 7, 1998.

Up to 80 people were feared dead and over 1,000 injured in two huge car bomb attacks on August 7, 1998, aimed at the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

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Photographs: Gerardo Magallon/Reuters
Tags: Nairobi , Kenya , Tanzania , US

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August 1983: Beirut, Lebanon

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A bulldozer demolishes the bombed out building of the American embassy in Beirut.

The embassy was attacked following intervention of a US-led multinational force in the Lebanese civil war. Sixty three people, including CIA staff, marines and soldiers, were killed.

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Photographs: Reuters
Tags: CIA , Beirut , US , Lebanon

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