World Bulletin / News Desk
More than 1,000 Tunisian security forces surrounded a mosque in the capital on Monday where a Salafist leader wanted by police over clashes at the U.S. Embassy last week was meeting hundreds of followers, a Reuters witness said.
Riot police, military and elite anti-terrorism forces cordoned off the al-Fatah mosque where Saif-Allah Benahssine, leader of the Tunisian branch of Ansar al-Sharia, told followers he was not involved in violent protests at the U.S. mission.
A security source told Reuters that Benahssine, also known as Abu Iyadh, was wanted over the protests. Two people died and 29 were wounded when police opened fire as protesters ransacked the U.S. mission over a film mocking the Prophet Mohammad.
Ansar al-Sharia has endorsed a Facebook call to protest against the short film, made with private funds in the United States and trailed online, which portrayed the Prophet Mohammad as a fool and a womaniser.
The moderate Islamist party Ennahda, which leads Tunisia's governing coalition, advised against joining the protests.
Moncef Marzouki, the country's secular president, condemned Friday's attack as unacceptable and said it could hurt relations with Washington. Tunisia's economy is reliant on Western aid after the turmoil that followed the overthrow of its longtime ruler last year.
Libyan officials suspect the Libyan branch of Ansar al-Sharia was behind an attack in which the U.S. envoy to Libya and three other Americans died in anti-film protests last week.
In addition to the dead, there were 28 injured -- 20 of them severely -- who were being treated at seven local hospitals, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus and Fire Chief Charles Hood told reporters.
The walk-out comes as violent and sometimes deadly protests continue amid a political and economic crisis that has led to shortages of basic goods and soaring inflation.
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Israel reportedly arrests senior Hamas leaders during overnight raids in occupied West Bank
Algeria has refused to classify Hamas or Muslim Brotherhood as terrorist organizations
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Israeli TV claims metal detectors at Al-Aqsa gates to be replaced with handheld ones
EU asks Israel and Jordan to take an attempt in the Al-Aqsa Mosque to uphold the status quo
Fifty-seven people injured in clashes, 12 taken to hospital, says Palestinian Red Crescent
Speaking ahead of a meeting with Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, the foreign minister of Oman, which has remained neutral in the dispute, Tillerson noted "positive movement" in talks since he visited the region ten days ago.