PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistan's government had called for a day of peaceful protests -- but the demonstrations across much of Pakistan today against the anti-Muslim film produced in the United States have been anything but peaceful.
At least 17 people are dead after police fired tear gas and live ammunition at thousands of demonstrators who threw rocks and set fire to buildings.
U.S. diplomats had earlier tried to reduce the anger in Pakistan by paying for ads on Pakistani TV that showed President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton denouncing the film.
Muslims also marched today in at least a half-dozen other countries to protest the film. Some burned American flags and effigies of Obama. The deaths of at least 47 people, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, have been linked to violence over the film throughout the Muslim world.
In Pakistan, officials say today's deadliest violence occurred in Karachi, where at least 12 people were killed and over 80 wounded.
An Interior Ministry official says the government temporarily blocked cellphone service in 15 major cities today to keep militants from using phones to set off bombs during the protests.
253-c-16-(Sebastian Abbot, AP correspondent)-"to detonate bombs"-AP correspondent Sebastian Abbot reports Pakistan declared Friday to be a national 'Love for the Prophet Day.' (21 Sep 2012)
<<CUT *253 (09/21/12)>> 00:16 "to detonate bombs"
254-a-11-(Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, at joint appearance with Tunisian foreign minister)-"of our people"-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the U.S. continues to watch the protests across Asia and the Mideast. ((refers to Friday as 'today')) (21 Sep 2012)
<<CUT *254 (09/21/12)>> 00:11 "of our people"
GRAPHICSBANK: Protestor holds sign reading "Death to Freedom & Democracy" during protest over "Innocence of Muslims" movie and cartoons of Islam Prophet Muhammad published in French magazine, near French Embassy, London, England, graphic element on gray (21 Sep 2012)
APPHOTO ISL111: Protesters torch a cinema in Peshawar, Pakistan on Friday, Sept 21, 2012. Tens of thousands protested around the country against an anti-Muslim film after the government encouraged peaceful protests and declared a national holiday ? "Love for the Prophet Day." Demonstrations turned violent and over a dozen people were killed, including a driver for a Pakistani television station, who died after police opened fire on rioters torching a cinema in the northwest city of Peshawar. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad) (21 Sep 2012)
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APPHOTO XMM112: A plain clothed Pakistani police officer fires a tear gas canister to disperse protesters, not shown, during clashes in Karachi, Pakistan, Friday, Sept 21, 2012. during clashes that erupted as the demonstrators tried to approach the U.S. embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, Friday, Sept. 21, 2012. Demonstrations turned violent in several Pakistani cities and over a dozen people were killed as tens of thousands protested against an amateurish anti-Muslim film produced in the United States and vulgar caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad published in a French satirical weekly around the country after the government encouraged peaceful protests and declared a national holiday — "Love for the Prophet Day." (AP Photo/Fareed Khan) (21 Sep 2012)
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