In Pakistan, 'Love for the Prophet Day" demonstrations turn deadly
Tens of thousands of Muslims turned out across Pakistan Friday to protest an anti-Islamic film and vulgar cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.
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In Pictures Anger across the Muslim world
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Hospital official Mohammad Naeem says 45 people were wounded in Islamabad, including 28 protesters and 17 police.
Police clashed with over 10,000 demonstrators in several neighborhoods in the capital, including in front of a five-star hotel near the diplomatic enclave where the U.S. Embassy and other foreign missions are located. A military helicopter buzzed overhead as the sound of tear gas being fired echoed across the city.
The government temporarily blocked cellphone service in 15 major cities to prevent militants from using phones to detonate bombs during the protests, said an Interior Ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media. Blocking cellphones could make it harder for people to organize protests as well.
Pakistan's Foreign Ministry on Friday summoned the U.S. charge d'affaires in Islamabad, Richard Hoagland, over the film.Pakistan has banned access to YouTube because the website refused to remove the video.
Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf urged the international community to pass laws to prevent people from insulting the prophet.
"If denying the Holocaust is a crime, then is it not fair and legitimate for a Muslim to demand that denigrating and demeaning Islam's holiest personality is no less than a crime?" Ashraf said in a speech to religious scholars and international diplomats in Islamabad.
Denying the Holocaust is a crime in Germany, but not in the U.S.
U.S. officials have tried to explain to the Muslim world how they strongly disagree with the anti-Islam film but have no ability to block it because of free speech guarantees.
In Iraq, about 3,000 protesters condemned the film and caricatures of the prophet that were published in a French satirical weekly. The protest in the southern city of Basra was organized by Iranian-backed Shiite groups. Some protesters raised Iraqi flags and posters of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, while chanting: "Death to America."
Protesters burned Israeli and U.S. flags and raised a banner that read: "We condemn the offenses made against the prophet."
In the Sri Lanka capital of Colombo, about 2,000 Muslims burned effigies of Obama and U.S. flags at a protest after Friday prayers, demanding that the United States ban the film. In Bangladesh, more than 2,000 people marched in the capital, Dhaka, and burned a makeshift coffin draped in an American flag and an effigy of Obama.