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Hezbollah issues film warning as protests spread

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has warned of grave repercussions if an anti-Islam film is released in full. Global protests over the American-made film have resulted in the deaths of at least 19 people.

The leader of Lebanon's Shiite movement made a rare appearance on Monday to denounce the film which remains the center of protests around the world.

Addressing tens of thousands of demonstrators who had gathered in the streets of southern Beirut to witness his speech, Nasrallah condemned the 13-minute film as the "worst attack ever on Muslims."

Watch video 01:10

Hezbollah leader warns of grave consequences over anti-Islam film

"The US must understand that releasing the entire film will have dangerous, very dangerous, repercussions around the world," Nasrallah told the hoards of cheering supporters.

"They slandered the purity of his birth, slandered his faith and his morals, slandered his Koran"

Protesters waving Lebanese flags responded with chants of "America, hear us - don't insult our prophet," and "Enough humiliation," as Nasrallah called for a week of protests around the country.

Protests spread

The amateur film "The Innocence of Muslims" has prompted protests in at least 20 countries for its depiction of the Prophet Muhammad. A trailer of the film circulated online portrays Muhammad as a womanizer, homosexual and child abuser.

On Monday protests were held in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia, the West Bank, the Philippines and Yemen.

In Pakistan thousands of students marched in the northwestern city of Peshawar, chanting anti-US slogans and burning American flags. One person was killed and two injured during a shootout with police in the nearby district of Upper Dir. Meanwhile at least 500 protesters tried to reach the US consulate in Lahore, but were driven back by police with tear gas.

More than 1,000 gathered for demonstrations in Afghanistan's capital Kabul. For a short period demonstrators threw stones at Camp Phoenix, a US-run military base, before being driven back.

Online restrictions

Meanwhile Pakistan's Prime Minister Pervev Ashraf joined a growing number of countries seeking to block access to the video on Monday.

Google, which owns YouTube, has already barred access to the video in Egypt, India, Indonesia, Libya and Malaysia. Access to YouTube has also been restricted in Afghanistan.

Global outrage over the video has prompted the alleged Californian filmmaker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula to go into hiding. He was joined by members of his family on Monday.

ccp/jm (AFP, Reuters, AP)

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