Several diplomatic facilities were shuttered Friday as many braced for intensified protests over the anti-Islam movie "Innocence of Muslims," as well as recently published cartoons in a French publication of a figure resembling the Prophet Mohammed.
Demonstrations have raged for days as many in the Muslim world are angry about the U.S.-made film that mocks Mohammed and about the French cartoon. And some believe that Friday prayers, a time of protest recently in the Middle East and North Africa, could add fuel to the fire.
Demonstrations started early Friday in Pakistan. Developments include:
Protesters set blaze in Pakistan
Protesters against the film and the cartoon in Peshawar, Pakistan, set fire to two movie theaters Friday morning, killing one person and injuring dozens, officials said.
Firefighters extinguished one blaze in about 90 minutes but were not able to get to the other fire, said Nadir Shah, a fire brigade official.
"We were informed by the police that the two cinemas had been set ablaze by rioters, and so we responded immediately," Shah said.
At least 25 people were injured, three of them critically, said Majid Qureshi, a doctor at a local hospital. A member of the media was also shot in killed in the protest, Qureshi said.
Peshawar police said four policemen were also injured.
Crowds of protesters were reported in Islamabad, and CNN affiliate Geo TV reported protests in Rawalpindi and Karachi.
Children chant 'Death to America'
The protests come a day after about 100 small children in Karachi repeated anti-American slogans during a protest in the coastal Pakistani city, a police official said.
Video showed children repeating an adult voice that said "Death to America" and "Any friend of America is a traitor."
"Punish the blasphemer," children chanted Thursday. One placard read, "Shut down website of blasphemous film."
The film reference is to "Innocence of Muslims," which mocks Mohammed as a womanizer, child molester and killer. A 14-minute trailer for the movie was first posted online in July, though it wasn't until this month that it was recognized globally.
Since September 11, Muslims have staged a wave of protests in more than 20 countries, decrying the film and the nation in which it was privately produced, the United States.
The children in Karachi -- seemingly between the ages of 6 and 8 -- demonstrated across from the Karachi Press Club, said Ghulam Qadir, a city police official charged with keeping track of all demonstrations at the club.
The event was not formal or planned, so authorities didn't know ahead of time it would happen, he said. In general, Pakistani parents are not informed about every event organized by a school.
At least four teachers accompanied the children to the demonstration, Qadir said. There did not appear to be any parents there.
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