US ambassador to Tunisia says embassy security 'not adequate'

Source:Xinhua Published: 2012-9-17 9:53:33

US Ambassador to Tunisia Jacob Walles said Sunday that security measures for the US embassy in Tunis were "not adequate" during Friday's anti-US protests.

"The embassy security plan was not adequate in light of what took place on Friday," Walles told Radio Mosaique FM, adding that the violence during the protests "threatened the lives of all those that worked in the embassy, both Tunisians and Americans."

Four people died and 48 were injured when angry protestors penetrated into the embassy compound on Friday to protest against an anti-Islam film allegedly produced by American extremists.

"American security forces did not fire any shot," the diplomat said.

He also said the damage to the embassy was "enormous" and those who committed the acts "did not represent Tunisians." "They are a minority who want to destroy Tunisian-American relations, not only the embassy compound," he said.

In spite of the damage to the buildings, the embassy will reopen on Monday, the ambassador said.

A nearby American school was also torched and looted during Friday's violence.

In a communique released Saturday, the US State Department ordered nonessential embassy personnel to leave Tunisia. Tunisian media reported that 127 US embassy personnel left the country on Sunday.

Posted in: Africa

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