Violent protests against anti-Islam film kills 15 in Pakistan

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The anti-Islamic film has continued to generate a row between the USA and Muslims the world over.

 

At least 15 people died across Pakistan on Friday where protesters clashed with police over the anti-Islam movie made in the US.

Pakistani government declared Friday a “Day of Love for the Prophet Mohammad” and announced a public holiday to allow for “peaceful” demonstration.

Critics of the government said it was pandering to Islamist parties.

Aljazeera television reported tens of thousands of protesters hitting the streets across the country.

Armed protesters fired on police in Karachi, killing two officers, as at least 10 protesters died in the violence, the television says. The crowd also burnt six cinemas, two banks, a KFC restaurant, and five police vehicles.

In the city of Peshawar, police fired on rioters who were torching a cinema. A driver for a Pakistani television station, Mohammad Amir, was killed when police bullets hit his vehicle at the scene, the television said.

At least four protesters and one police officer were killed in the northwestern city, 40 people were injured, while two cinemas and two shops were torched.

In the capital Islamabad, some 19 protesters and eight police were injured. And in Lahore, at least five protesters were wounded.

Dozens have died across the world in the violence that erupted about a week ago over the film, Innocence of Muslims, which is seen to have denigrated the Prophet Muhammad.

On Wednesday, a French magazine fueled the crisis with publications of cartoons mocking the Prophet.

The U.S. Embassy in Pakistan has been running television advertisements, one featuring Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, saying the government had nothing to do with the film, Aljazeera says.

The efforts have hardly assuaged the anger over the depictions. Protests were reported in Yemen, Bangladesh , Malaysia, Iraq and Lebanon.

Western diplomatic missions throughout the Muslim world tightened security, with some closing down.

The U.S. and French embassies were closed on Friday in Jakarta, capital of Indonesia, which has the world’s largest Muslim population; and diplomatic missions in the Afghan capital, Kabul, were on lock-down.

 

With Agency report