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US embassy in Cairo back to business as usual: Spokesman

After calm is restored following five days of clashes between angry demonstrators and security forces, US embassy resumes normal activities on Sunday

Ahram Online, Sunday 16 Sep 2012
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The US embassy in Cairo opened its doors on Sunday for the first time in five days in the absence of any demonstrations or clashes in the vicinity.

"Now our flag, the flag of the USA, is flying proudly at the embassy," the embassy tweeted on Sunday morning.

Following the circulation last week of a US-made film denigrating Islam and the Prophet Mohamed, angry protesters had converged on US embassies throughout the region to voice their anger.

In Cairo, over 3,000 demonstrators gathered outside the US embassy in the Garden City district on Tuesday, which coincided with the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington. A handful of protesters managed to scale the embassy's wall, from which they tore down an American flag.

Five days of ensuing clashes between security forces and protesters finally wound down on Saturday, after security forces emptied the streets near the embassy of demonstrators and took full control of Tahrir Square. The flashpoint square is currently devoid of all protesters and street vendors.

On Saturday night, US embassy spokesman David Linfield told Ahram Online that, in spite of the disruption, the embassy had "not been fully closed for even a single work day."

"Rather, on 12 and 13 September, we closed our visa services section and our non-emergency American citizen services section," added Linfield.

The spokesman went on to say that full embassy services were expected to resume on Sunday.

On Sunday morning, however, the US embassy apologised for failing to provide visa or non-emergency US citizen services as promised.

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