CAIRO — Protesters angry over an amateurish U.S.-made video denouncing Islam attacked the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, killing a U.S. employee, while Egyptian demonstrators stormed over the fortified walls of the U.S. Embassy here.
The mobs were set off by reports that the Rev. Terry Jones of Gainesville had proclaimed Sept. 11 "International Judge Mohammed Day" and was promoting the new video, which mocks Islam's founding prophet.
In a statement Tuesday, Jones called the film "an American production, not designed to attack Muslims but to show the destructive ideology of Islam" and said it "reveals in a satirical fashion the life of Mohammed."
Jones inspired deadly riots in Afghanistan in 2010 and 2011 by threatening to burn copies of the Koran and then burning one in his church.
In Benghazi, protesters armed with automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades attacked the U.S. Consulate and set it on fire, Libyan officials said. Officials of Libya's Interior Ministry told reporters that a U.S. employee of the consulate was fatally shot and that at least one other U.S. staff member had been injured.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton confirmed that one State Department officer had been killed. She strongly condemned the attack.
In Cairo, thousands of unarmed protesters had gathered outside the embassy during the day. By nightfall, some had climbed over the wall around the embassy compound and destroyed a flag hanging inside. The vandals replaced it with a black flag with an Islamic profession of faith.