An American has been killed in Libya as protesters stormed the U.S. Embassies there and in Egypt in attacks on the September 11 anniversary over a film making fun of the prophet Muhammad.
A U.S. State department spokeswoman confirmed the American's death to MailOnline, but did not provide further details, pending notification of next-of-kin.
The person who was killed was an State Department officer at the embassy in Benghazi. Another American worker was wounded in the hand.
Witnesses said that much of the consulate has been burned by a fire set inside. Pictures from the area showed the building engulfed by flames.
Revolt: An armed man waves his rifle as buildings and cars are engulfed in flames after being set on fire inside the U.S. consulate compound in Benghazi, Libya
In flames: The U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, is seen on fire during a protest by an armed group protesting a film being produced in the United States
The video, called Innocence of Muslims, is shot in English, but provides Arabic subtitles.
It was written, directed and produced by Israeli-American real-estate developer Sam Bacile in California, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Bacile, 52, told the paper that he regards Islam as a 'cancer' and was able to produce the film with $5million that he raised with the help of about 100 Jewish donors.
The film, clips of which were put on the video-sharing website YouTube, depicts Muhammad as a fraud, showing him having sex and calling for massacres.
Throughout the video, 'Muhammad' - portrayed by an American actor - is branded a 'bastard,' 'rapist' and 'child molester' by other actors in the film.
Destruction: Plumes of smoke and flames can be seen rising out of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi after the building was raided by gunmen who set it on fire
Protest: An American worker was shot to death and another was injured as the armed demonstrators swarmed the embassy in Benghazi
Muslims find it offensive to depict Muhammad in any fashion, much less in an insulting way.
Ultra-conservatives have claimed the actions are a protest against the film, which they say attacks Islam's prophet, Muhammad, and is a form of blasphemy.
The 2005 publication of 12 caricatures of the prophet Muhammad in a Danish newspaper triggered riots in many Muslim countries.
Gunmen attacked U.S. consulate offices in the city of Benghazi, and fought with security forces in protest against the film, portions of which have appeared on YouTube and promoted by anti-Islam groups.
Wanis al-Sharef, an interior ministry official in Benghazi, said the two were shot at the consulate during an attack by armed men who stormed the building. He provided no further details.
WHY IS 'INNOCENCE OF MUSLIMS' SO OFFENSIVE?
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement on Tuesday night that she condemned the attack in the strongest terms and has called the Libyan president to coordinate additional support to protect Americans in Libya.
She said that some are trying to justify 'this vicious behavior' as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet.
She said the U.S. deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, but that there is never any justification for violent acts like this.
She says the U.S. is working with partner governments around the world to protect American personnel, missions and citizens.
Benghazi, Libya's second-largest city, was also the scene of bloody clashes between rebel soldiers and those loyal to former dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi last year.
The rebels were given a significant boost by foreign forces, including the U.S. and the U.K., which deployed submarines and military jets to the area.
The civil war culminated with Gaddafi's death at the hands of rebel forces on October 20, 2011.
A witness said attackers fired automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades at the consulate as they clashed with Libyans hired to guard the facility.
Outnumbered by the crowd, Libyan security forces did little to stop them, said Wanis al-Sharef, an Interior Ministry official in Benghazi.
The crowd overwhelmed the facility and set fire to it, burning most of it and looting the contents, witnesses said.
The American's death in Benghazi is the first of an American embassy worker since Khairy Ramadan Aly, who was shot to death in February 2011.
Aly was an Egyptian national working as a carpenter at the U.S. embassy in Cairo.
That's where a mob climbed the walls of the compound, making their way into the courtyard and replacing the American Stars and Stripes with a black flag bearing an Islamic inscription.
The mob climbed the walls of the compound in Cairo and ripped down the U.S. flag
Protesters destroy an American flag pulled down from the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt
Egyptian riot police stand guard as protesters climb down from the wall of the embassy
Thousands of Egyptian demonstrators were angered by a film produced by expatriate members of Egypt's Christian minority resident in the United States
Hundreds of protesters marched to the embassy in downtown Cairo, gathering outside its walls and chanting against the movie, which was reportedly produced in the U.S.
The crowd chanted: 'Say it, don't fear: Their ambassador must leave.'
Dozens of protesters then scaled the embassy walls, took down the flag from a pole in the courtyard and brought it back to the crowd outside.The crowd tried to burn it, but failing that, tore it apart.The protesters on the wall then raised on the flagpole a black flag with the Muslim declaration of faith on it, 'There is no god but God and Muhammad is his prophet.'
The flag, similar to the banner used by al-Qaeda, is commonly used by ultraconservatives around the region.
Egyptian protesters pray outside the U.S. embassy in Cairo
In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the U.S. was working with Egyptian authorities to try to restore order.
All the staff had left before the embassy was breached, a U.S. official said.
Only a few staff members were still inside, as embassy security had sent most staff home early after learning of the upcoming protest.
An Egyptian protester (centre) holds a placard reading in Arabic 'no to sectarian strife' during the protest
Egyptian protesters chant anti U.S. slogans in front of the embassy
The situation is still fluid, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorised to speak publicly on the matter.
An official in the embassy in Cairo said the ambassador was out of town.
Egypt's prestigious Al-Azhar mosque and seat of Sunni learning condemned a symbolic 'trial' of the Prophet organised by a U.S. group including Terry Jones, a Christian pastor who triggered riots in Afghanistan in 2010 after he threatened to burn the Koran.
Pastor Terry Jones and others were due to take part in an event today called 'International Judge Mohammad Day' in Florida
According to the website Stand up for America, Jones and others were due to take part in an event today, the anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the U.S., called 'International Judge Mohammad Day' in Florida.
It was due to be carried live on the Internet.
In their calls for a protest some activists had mentioned Jones.
Egypt's Coptic Orthodox church also condemned in a statement some Copts living abroad who it said financed 'the production of a film insulting Prophet Mohammad', a state website reported. About a 10th of Egypt's 83 million people are Christians.
Protests have become a common feature in Egypt since the uprising that ousted long-time U.S.ally Mubarak. When U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited in July, after Mursi was sworn in, her motorcade was pelted with tomatoes.
In Mubarak's era, protests were usually swiftly halted by an often brutally efficient police force.
One slogan scrawled on the walls of the embassy, which is near Tahrir Square where Egyptians revolted against Mubarak, said: 'If your freedom of speech has no limits, may you accept our freedom of action.'
In another incident prompted by similar religious sentiments last month, a lone man attacked the German embassy with homemade nail bombs and a hammer, cracking glass at the entrance, after he read a report about a protest in Germany where demonstrators paraded caricatures of the Prophet outside a mosque.
No one was injured and there was no serious damage to the embassy during the incident.