Yemenis shun call to protest deployment of US Marines

AFP , Sunday 16 Sep 2012

Planned demonstration against deployment of US Marines at US embassy in Sanaa cancelled by organisers after people fail to turn up

Protesters run as police use water cannons to disperse them at a crossroad leading to the U.S. embassy in Sanaa September 14, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

Yemenis on Sunday ignored calls to protest the deployment of US Marines at the US embassy in Sanaa just days after demonstrators stormed the compound to protest an anti-Islam film produced in the United States.

Sunday's planned demonstration in front of Yemeni President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi's residence in the capital was cancelled by organisers, the Huthi rebel movement from the north, after people failed to show up, an AFP correspondent at the scene reported.

The Huthis are believed to have participated in the violent protests outside the US embassy last Thursday which left four people dead.

On Friday, the US deployed a Marines anti-terrorism unit to Yemen to help protect the American embassy, a move that was condemned by the Yemeni parliament, saying it was up to the government to provide security for foreign embassies.

Security around the embassy remained tight on Sunday with all access roads to and from the heavily fortified compound blocked by security forces.

US Consular services also remained closed for the second day Sunday.

Protests over a trailer for the anti-Islam film on YouTube first broke out Tuesday in Egypt and Libya, where the US consulate in Benghazi came under attack by an armed mob killing the US ambassador and three other Americans.

The protests have since spread across other Arab and Muslim countries.

The low-budget movie "Innocence of Muslims," in which actors have strong American accents, portrays Muslims as immoral and gratuitously violent.

It pokes fun at the Prophet Mohammed and touches on themes of paedophilia and homosexuality, while showing him sleeping with women, talking about killing children and referring to a donkey as "the first Muslim animal."

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