Mob Attacks U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, Another Burns U.S. Flag
Just hours after yesterday's missile strikes on a nearby pharmaceutical plant and terrorist training centers in Afghanistan, dozens of angry Sudanese attacked the abandoned United States embassy in Khartoum.
Footage from Sudanese television showed the attackers throwing stones at the building and ripping down the U.S. flag. Some climbed to the top of surrounding gates to address the crowd, while others moved to enter the embassy. The crowd yelled, "Down, down, U.S.A." Many later traveled to the bombsite, shouting "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest).
Washington claims evidence that the plant, which has links to Osama bin Laden, was involved in the production of chemical weapons and produced a precursor to the deadly VX nerve gas. President Omar Hassan al-Bashir denied that the factory was involved in chemical weapons production. Referring to the U.S. as "the forces of tyranny," he said "This factory was a source of Sudanese pride, making medicine needed by the people." Sudanese Information Minister Ghazi Salahuddin stated, "We are going to pursue every legitimate course to prove to the world that the United States has committed a crime."
In another anti-U.S. demonstration, a group of approximately 150 Pakistani protesters burned the American flag outside of the U.S. Information Services center in Islamabad. The building had been unoccupied since Monday, when security threats prompted Washington to order many of its diplomatic staff to leave the country. The crowd included at least 150 protesters, many of whom were students from Islamabad's International Islamic University.
The crowd chanted its support for Osama bin Laden, shouting "Hundred Osamas will be born if one Osama is killed! Clinton is a dog and love live Osama!"
According to the Washington Post, the U.S. has information that Osama bin Laden and his followers are linked to numerous terrorists acts against the U.S. and its allies. In addition to what President Clinton has called "strong evidence" that bin Laden was behind the August 7 bombings of U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi, he is also suspected of harboring World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, attacking U.S. soldiers in Yemen and Somalia in 1993, killing seven people at a U.S. training facility in Saudi Arabia in 1995, aided a 1995 assassination attempt on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and bombing Dhahran's Khobar Towers, where 19 U.S. servicemen were murdered.
Media Resources: AP, Washington Post, and Reuters- June 1, 1998