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Protests sweep Islamic world, fueled by domestic politics, anti-US anger

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Iran's supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, condemned a historic string of Western insults, saying that an "evil chain – namely Salman Rushdie, the Danish cartoonist and Quran-burning American priests," showed that the US and "evil Zionist groups are furious at the increasing brilliance of Islam... in the world today."

In Khartoum, where antigovernment protests earlier this year were easily crushed, security forces did not prevent crowds from attacking the downtown British and German embassies before driving farther out to the US embassy.

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In Yemen, a president's apology

In Yemen, security forces were significantly reinforced today to prevent a repeat of yesterday's breach of the US Embassy compound. President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi issued an apology to President Obama and the American people, and vowed to investigate.

Hundreds of Yemenis nevertheless converged today toward the embassy compound after Friday prayers. Security forces held them back with tear gas and warning bullets at a barrier a mile from the embassy.

While the protests were sparked by the anti-Islam film, Yemenis have long resented what they consider American "meddling" in Yemeni affairs. Many Yemenis bristle at continuing American drone strikes in the country, one of which left 10 civilians dead last week.

US Ambassador Gerald Feierstein was singled out yesterday as protesters chanted, "Today is your day, oh ambassador!" as they stormed the embassy walls. Today they carried placards with the same words, and another which read: "America is the devil."

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