President Obama sought to assure Americans that his administration is doing all it can to keep U.S. citizens abroad safe after four days of violent anti-American protests spread turmoil across the Muslim world.
"Right now, we are doing whatever we can to protect Americans who are serving abroad,” Obama said in his prerecorded weekly address released Saturday. “We are in contact with governments around the globe, to strengthen our cooperation, and underscore that every nation has a responsibility to help us protect our people.”
As Obama’s remarks were aired, Egyptian police had cleared demonstrators out of central Cairo after four days of angry and violent protests. The rioting began Tuesday in that city as well as Benghazi, Libya -- where the U.S. ambassador was killed in an armed attack on the U.S. consulate. By Friday, the unrest had spread across the Middle East, North Africa and into South Asia, in what it believed to be at least partially a response to an anti-Muslim video posted on YouTube.
The Obama administration has sent Marines to boost security at diplomatic posts in Libya and Yemen, where protesters breached the U.S. Embassy in Sana on Thursday. The president has made phone calls to the leaders of Libya, Egypt and Yemen, the White House has said.