State evacuates embassies in Tunisia, Sudan

Tunisian police and army vehicles surround the U.S. Embassy in Tunisia. Tunisian police and army vehicles surround the U.S. Embassy in Tunisia. Hassene Dridi/AP

The State Department evacuated personnel from a number of embassies over the weekend due to ongoing large-scale protests from a controversial anti-Islam film.

Following the violence in Benghazi, Libya, last week, the State Department evacuated all non-emergency U.S. government personnel from embassies in Tunisia, and Sudan.  The warning for Sudan also directed all U.S. government personnel in the area to travel in armored vehicles. Last week, U.S. diplomats in Libya were evacuated to Germany immediately following the attack, which killed U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith, as well as two security officers.

State also warned about the possible disturbances from protests in Baku, Azerbaijan, and Jakarta, Indonesia. Disturbances related to protests will force the early closure of consulate business in Bangkok, Thailand, on Sept. 18. The American Center in New Delhi, India, and the U.S.-India Educational Foundation also planned to close due to protests and demonstrations.  In all of the recent warnings, State encouraged citizens traveling abroad to register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, especially considering the ongoing instability.

The Associated Press reported that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was on the phone with leaders of seven countries to further discuss the situation that has embroiled the Middle East in a wave of protests and violence.

President Obama heightened security at all diplomatic posts last week, and deployed Marines to Yemen to protect U.S. interests there.

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