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Anti-U.S. protests spread in Muslim world

CAIRO -- Fury over an anti-Islam film spread across the Muslim world Friday, with deadly clashes near Western embassies in Tunisia and Sudan, an American fast-food restaurant set ablaze in Lebanon and international peacekeepers attacked in the Sinai despite an appeal for calm from Egypt's Islamist president.

At least four people -- all protesters -- were killed and dozens were wounded in the demonstrations in more than 20 countries from the Middle East to South Asia. Most were peaceful but they turned violent in several nations, presenting challenges for the leaders who came to power in the Arab Spring.

Police in Cairo prevented stone-throwing protesters from getting near the U.S. Embassy, firing tear gas and deploying armored vehicles in a fourth day of clashes in the Egyptian capital. One person died there after being shot by rubber bullets.

President Barack Obama said Washington would "stand fast" against attacks on U.S. embassies around the world. He spoke at a somber ceremony paying tribute to four Americans -- including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens -- killed this week when the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was stormed by militants who may have used protests of the anti-Muslim film to stage an assault on the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

An elite Marine rapid response team arrived in Yemen's capital of San'a, where local security forces shot live rounds in the air and fired tear gas at a crowd of an estimated 2,000 near the U.S. Embassy.

In east Jerusalem, Israeli police stopped a crowd of about 400 Palestinians from marching on the U.S. Consulate.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had tried to pre-empt the violence a day earlier by saying the rage and violence aimed at American diplomatic missions was prompted by "an awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with."

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi went on national TV and appealed to Muslims not to attack embassies. But the demonstrators came out after weekly Friday prayers. Many clerics urged congregations to defend their faith, denouncing the obscure movie "Innocence of Muslims" that was produced in the United States and denigrated the prophet Muhammad.

U.S. embassies around the world, including in France and Austria, issued alerts Friday advising Americans to review personal security. Embassies in Denmark, Mauritania and India also issued alerts.

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