Conceding that angry protests are likely to continue for days, the US defence department has sent extra troops to protect “personnel and property” at America’s diplomatic outposts across the Muslim world.
The deployment was revealed as the Obama administration ordered an evacuation of all but emergency staff from Tunisia and Sudan. It advised citizens not to visit either country until anger over a controversial video mocking the Prophet Mohamed has died down.
Protests have spread to at least 20 Muslim nations and were reported in Pakistan yesterday, leaving US officials anxious to prevent a repeat of last week’s tragedy in Libya, where the US ambassador, Christopher Stevens, and three staff were killed at the American consulate in Benghazi. The Pentagon has “deployed forces to a number of areas in the region”, said the Defence Secretary, Leon Panetta. “I think that we have to continue to be very vigilant because I suspect that … these demonstrations are likely to continue over the next few days, if not longer.”