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      US Urges Tunisia to Charge Embassy Attackers

      The U.S. government has urged Tunisia to bring those who attacked the American Embassy to trial.
      By Chana Ya'ar
      First Publish: 10/14/2012, 3:43 PM

      Tunisians walk past riot police
      Tunisians walk past riot police
      Reuters

      The U.S. government has urged Tunisia to bring those who attacked the American Embassy to trial. 

      On September 14, a mob of thousands of raging Muslims managed to successfully breach the security at the U.S. embassy compound in Tunisia and the American school next door. Dozens of cars parked in the lot were broken into, looted and then torched, as were two school buses. Windows in one of the embassy buildings were smashed. A gym and the school were both set ablaze. Four "protesters" died and around 50 were injured, according to various media reports.

      In a letter to Tunis marking the one-month anniversary of the attacks, U.S. Ambassador Jacob Walles called on the Tunisian government “to conduct its investigation” and to “bring the perpetrators and instigators of this attack to justice.”


      The U.S. also pledged to continue its support for a democratic transition in the North African nation, where the “Jasmine Revolution” in January 2011 ignited what later became known as the “Arab Spring.”

      Tunisia was the first nation to overthrow its government in an uprising that began when a produce vendor self-immolated in despair over economic hardship and a problem with a government tax collector.

      One Arab nation after another quickly followed, with Cairo's population rapidly packing its iconic Tahrir Square with protesters. Days and nights of flames, bullets and other violence from both protesters and security officers followed, until then-President Hosni Mubarak was deposed.

      By the end of the year, rebels in Libya had also torn apart their capital, handing over government to a National Transitional Council. The rebels eventually tracked down and murdered the man who for more than 40 years had ruled with an iron fist, Col. Muammar Qaddafi. Elections followed, but the country is still in turmoil and and has nurtured the growth of a branch of the Al Qaeda terrorist organization, which launched an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.

      For the first time in 33 years, an American Ambassador was murdered last month, and three American diplomats along with him, in an al-Qaeda attack in Libya on September 11.

      Yemen also lost its incumbent government, with President Ali Abdullah Saleh giving up the office to Abd al-Rab Mansour al-Hadi. There too, the U.S. Embassy was attacked, on September 13, and last Thursday, the U.S. Embassy in Yemen was attacked again, with an employee shot dead by masked gunmen believed to be linked to Al Qaeda.