State Dept. Issues Warnings In Sudan, Tunisia
WASHINGTON — The State Department is ordering the departure of all family members and non-essential U.S. government personnel from posts in Sudan and Tunisia and is issuing travel warnings to the two countries due to security concerns over anti-American violence.
The department on Saturday said while Sudan’s government has taken steps to limit the activities of terrorist groups, some remain there and have threatened to attack Western interests. The terrorist threat level remains critical.
The State Department said the airport in Tunis was open and it encouraged all U.S. citizens to depart by commercial air. It said Americans in Tunisia should use extreme caution and avoid demonstrations.
The Tunisian Ministry of Health said at least four people were killed and 49 injured during violent demonstrations at the U.S. Embassy and a nearby American school on Friday. Thousands of protesters looted and burned buildings and vehicles, after tearing down an American flag and replacing it with an Islamic one. The Tunisian ruling party condemned the attack and apologized for not protecting the embassy.
Meantime, objections by Sudan’s government are reportedly holding up the security mission of an elite Marine team that the U.S. planned to send to Khartoum.
That word came from a U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to disclose details on the troop movement.
The team was being deployed in the wake of violence and protests against the U.S. Embassy in Sudan. Similar teams were sent to Libya on Wednesday after the attack that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi, and to Yemen on Friday.
Demonstrators stormed the German Embassy in Khartoum on Friday before moving on in buses to the U.S. Embassy, where police used tear gas to stop them scaling the walls. The protests were part of demonstrations across the Muslim world against an anti-Islam film.