The United States braced Saturday for more protests over an independently produced anti-Islam film that has ignited anger in the Muslim world, temporarily closing some of its diplomatic missions and warning American citizens in some countries to be vigilant.
The U.S. mission in Lahore, Pakistan, on Saturday extended the temporary suspension of services amid news of two planned protests that were expected to draw hundreds, according to a U.S. State Department security announcement.
Protests were also planned at U.S. Embassies in Albania, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Lebanon.
It follows violent protests Friday in Pakistan, where at least 27 people were killed and more than 100 injured as mobs ransacked banks, theaters, government offices and a church and clashed with security forces.
The decision this week by a French satire magazine to publish cartoons of a figure resembling Mohammed stoked fury over the film even further. It prompted France to close diplomatic facilities temporarily in 20 countries and even ban weekend protests in Paris amid concerns over possible fallout.
The U.S. Embassy in Jordan, which has been the target of recent protests, warned American citizens to avoid France’s Embassy as well as French schools and cultural centers in the country.
Muslims in more than 20 nations have taken part in protests targeting the United States since September 11 over “Innocence of Muslims,” an obscure, 14-minute trailer for a film that mocks the Prophet Mohammed as a womanizer, child molester and killer.
While most protests have been peaceful,there have been a number of demonstrations notable for their violence that has left more than two dozen people dead — among them U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other Americans killed in an attack on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
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