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14 Sep, 2012 15:09

Three killed, 40 injured as Tunisian protesters clash with police, scale US embassy walls (VIDEO)

At least three people have been killed and 40 wounded near the US embassy in Tunis as protesters attacked the compound, climbing the gates of the diplomatic complex and tearing down the US flag.

After a few hours of violent and deadly clashes between outraged protesters and police officers, security forces managed to expel the demonstrators from inside the embassy compound.The clashes took place after protesters left Friday evening prayers and marched to the embassy. Demonstrators had been protesting peacefully for hours when about 300 started to break through the gates. Witnesses reported that the embassy’s US flag had been replaced with a black flag. Protesters set fire to trees and smashed windows. A large fire and thick plume of black smoke was seen inside the compound. Police fired tear gas canisters into the crowd and protesters lobbed rocks at the security forces. Later police opened fire to suppress an assault on the embassy, but it remains unclear if  rounds or rubber bullets were used. Petrol bombs were thrown at a separate part of the embassy, causing fire as security forces continued to launch tear gas and warning shots.Protesters also looted and set fire to American secondary school, attended mainly by foreigners, located across the road runing along the back of the embassy, Tunisia's official news agency has confirme. No children or staffers were injured, as the school was closed on Friday.Mass protests continue to rage throughout the Arab world in the wake of the release of the incendiary anti-Islamic film ‘Innocence of Muslims.’