x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Anti-Islam film met with anger

Anger has been growing over the film, Innocence of Muslims.

Afghanistan blocks YouTube access

KABUL // An Afghan official says the government yesterday temporarily blocked access to YouTube to prevent people from watching the trailer for Innocence of Muslims. Aimal Marjan, general director of information technology at the ministry of communications, says the site was blocked for about 90 minutes until YouTube removed the videos.

Palestinians burn US flags in protest

GAZA CITY // Dozens of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have burnt American flags and chanted "Death to America," in protest against the film. The demonstration yesterday in Gaza City was sponsored by supporters of the Popular Resistance Committees, which is aligned with the ruling Hamas movement. Some protesters carried swords, axes and black flags. They chanted: "Shame on everyone who insults the Prophet."

Tunisians try to storm US embassy

TUNIS // Tunisian authorities fired tear gas and rubber bullets as a crowd of several hundred tried to storm the US embassy in the north African nation's capital amid outrage over the film. The attempt to enter the embassy and take down a flag came shortly after authorities had dispersed a smaller crowd of ultra-conservative Salafis who had burnt US flag outside the mission.

Pakistan condemns airing of video

ISLAMABAD // "The government of Pakistan strongly condemns the airing of a defamatory video clip in the US, maligning the revered and pious personality of Prophet Mohammed," said a statement issued by the foreign ministry. "Such abominable actions, synchronised with commemoration of atrocious events like 9/11, provoke hatred, discord and enmity within societies and between peoples of various faiths."

Iran makes no mention of attacks

TEHRAN // Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast denounced the film while making no mention of the embassy attacks. The US has a "direct moral responsibility" to stop insults against holy Muslim figures, Iran's Mehr news agency quoted Mr Mehmanparast as saying.

Vatican urges respect for Muslims

ROME // The Vatican said the violence showed the need to respect religions and avoid insulting believers. "The serious consequences of unjustified offence and provocations against the sensibilities of Muslim believers are once again evident in these days," said the Vatican's chief spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi. * Bloomberg, Agence France-Presse, Associated Press