UN chief slams `hateful film`, calls for calm

Angry demonstrations against anti-Islam film reportedly made in the US have spread to several countries across Middle East and North Africa.

Updated: Sep 14, 2012, 11:59 AM IST

New York: Calling for calm and restraint at the time of rising tensions, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon has condemned as "hateful" the anti-Islam that triggered anti-American protest in the Middle East and North Africa.

"The secretary-general is deeply disturbed by the recent violence in Libya and elsewhere in the Middle East," said a statement issued here late Thursday by Ban`s spokesperson.

"Nothing justifies such killings and attacks", Xinhua reported, quoting the statement.

The secretary-general "condemns the hateful film that appears to have been deliberately designed to sow bigotry and bloodshed", the statement said.

The statement came as angry demonstrations against the anti-Islam film reportedly made in the US have spread to several countries across the Middle East and North Africa.

"At this time of rising tensions, the secretary-general calls for calm and restraint, and stresses the need for dialogue, mutual respect and understanding," the statement said.

Thursday morning witnessed the storming of the US embassy in Yemen by several hundred protesters, angry about the same YouTube video that sparked similar anti-American protests in Egypt and Libya earlier this week.

In Libya, where US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three embassy staff, were killed during protests in Benghazi, an eastern city, Tuesday, officials said they had made "four arrests" over the attack.

Hundreds of protesters, angered by an alleged US-made movie that insults Prophet Mohammad, broke into the US consulate building in Benghazi on Tuesday night and set ablaze the building.

In the Iranian capital Tehran, up to 500 people protested over the issue chanting "Death to America!" and death to the movie`s director, reports said.

The rally, near the Swiss embassy that handles US interests in the absence of US-Iran diplomatic ties, ended peacefully two hours later.