(AsiaNews / Agencies) - A group of gunmen set fire to the U.S. consulate in
Benghazi, in an armed attack that killed one U.S. representative and wounded
another American. The
episode took place last night a few hours after a similar attack by a crowd of hundreds
of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo (see photo). It
is believed that both attacks - which took place on the anniversary of the Twin
Towers in New York - are linked to the scandal of a film produced in the U.S.,
which mocks the Prophet Muhammad.
In the Benghazi attack, a group of armed men entered the building throwing grenades and firing guns. The Libyan security forces were unable to stop the assault.
So far, the identity of those responsible remains unknown. In Libya, after the fall of Gaddafi, there are many armed groups and the central government can not ensure security.
The film that seems to have triggered the assault was produced by an Israeli-American and released by an Egyptian expatriate. Some sequences can be seen on Youtube. Among the supporters of the film there is pastor Terry Jones, who in 2010 sparked a riot in Afghanistan after threatening to publicly burned a Koran.
The attack on the U.S. embassy in Cairo was explicitly linked to the film blasphemous. Hundreds, if not thousands of Egyptians have blocked the entrance to the embassy, climbed the wall and ripped the U.S. flag down, burning it to pieces. The protesters demand that the film be banned and that the United States apologize.
The U.S. Embassy in Egypt - and the same Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State - stated that "The United States deplores any effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others." At the same time, Clinton added: "But there can never be a justification for violent acts such as these."
Tensions in Cairo and Libya come at an important time in the relationship between the United States and the two countries affected by the Arab Spring. Until recently, Washington supported the local dictators, in exchange for control of the rebel and fanatical forces. Now the U.S. is looking to build relations with the new government. But in Libya the situation is almost uncontrollable. In Egypt, last week, the U.S. said they were close to defining a1 billion dollar loan to the Cairo government.
After the signing of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, Washington announced a vast program of aid for the country, in addition to paying 1.3 billion dollars to support the Egyptian army.