Egypt has put its police force on a state of alert after a night of violence during which angry protesters broke into the Israeli Embassy in Cairo, tearing down a cement barrier around the building and dumping documents out of the windows.
The state MENA news agency says 448 people were injured in overnight clashes between thousands of protesters and police. Forty-six policemen were also hurt.
The violence has led the Israeli ambassador to Egypt, his family, and other embassy staff to fly out of Cairo aboard an Israeli plane early on September 10. But Israel's deputy ambassador is remaining in Cairo to keep contacts with the Egyptian government.
On September 9, Egyptian police initially declined to intervene as a mob tore down the security wall outside the Israeli embassy and raided the building. When police did intervene early on September 10, firing tear gas to disperse crowds, the crowd hurled fire bombs, setting several police vehicles on fire. Six Israeli diplomats trapped inside the building were rescued by Egyptian commandos.
In a statement, U.S. President Barack Obama has called on Egypt to honor its international obligations and protect the embassy of Washington's ally Israel. The White House also said Obama had spoken to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the situation.
The Cairo violence has occurred with tensions between Israel and Egypt still high following the deaths of five Egyptian security officers who were killed last month during an Israeli military operation targeting gunmen who had killed eight Israelis.
The violence also comes amid protests by Egyptian activists calling for quicker reforms by Egypt's current ruling military council following the ouster in February of longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak.
compiled from agency reports