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Protesters face-off against riot police officers guarding the U.S. embassy in Tunis on Sept. 14. / Hassene Dridi, AP

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) - Tunisian authorities are seeking the death penalty against several suspects who have been detained over attacks on the U.S. Embassy and the neighboring American school last month, defense lawyers said Thursday.

Anouar Ouled Ali and Mondher Charni said an unspecified number of the 87 people now held in custody risk capital punishment on charges including attacks against state security. The Sept. 14 violence came amid roiling protests across the Muslim world over a private U.S.-produced film that mocked the Prophet Muhammad.

Several thousand demonstrators stormed the U.S. Embassy compound, tore down the American flag and looted and burned buildings. Police responded with gunshots and tear gas. Four demonstrators died and scores of people were injured, including security forces.

Tunisia's governing moderate Islamist party condemned the attacks on the U.S. sites.

Separately, the Tunisian government extended for an eighth time a state of emergency put in place in January 2011 amid a popular uprising that forced longtime President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali from power, the official news agency TAP reported Thursday.

President Moncef Marzouki extended the state of emergency for one month, despite a "notable improvement in the general security situation" in the country, TAP said.



Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Read the original story: Tunisia seeks death penalty over anti-U.S. attacks

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