Marines deployed to Yemen in wake of anti-US protests

Roughly 50 Marines with the U.S. Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team (FAST) are on the ground in the Yemeni capitol of Saana, where protesters are laying siege to the American diplomatic outpost there, The Wall Street Journal and Marine Corps Times reported on Friday. 

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Nearly 2,000 Yemeni nationals, enraged over the negative depiction of the Prophet Muhammad in an online anti-Islamic video this week, stormed the U.S. compound late Thursday. 

Local security forces ultimately dispersed the angry mob by firing live rounds into the crowd, but not before protesters were able to breach the embassy's outer walls and burn the American flag raised over the building, news reports state.  

The arrival of the FAST units in Yemen comes a day after separate elements from the elite anti-terrorism team were deployed to Libya, in the wake of the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate there. 

The brazen raid on the American consulate in Benghazi ended with the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. Also among the dead was Glen Doherty, a former U.S. Navy SEAL who was working with a private security firm under contract with the State Department in Libya. 

Doherty and other members of the consulate's security forces engaged in a four-hour firefight with Libyan gunmen in Benghazi, who lobbed rocket-propelled grenades at the consulate and raked the compound with automatic rifle fire. 

The growing unrest in Libya and Yemen coincides with several large-scale protests against various U.S. embassies and consulates around the Mideast, fueled by anger over the anti-Islamic movie. 

In Tunisia, protesters set fire to trees and scaled the walls at the U.S. Embassy in Tunis on Friday, according to reports from inside the country. 

A handful of protesters were able to get inside the embassy's inner compound, but were eventually dispersed by Tunisian security forces after those forces fired canisters of tear gas to break up the mob.