UN’s Ban calls for restraint amid Middle East protests and violence

September 17th, 2012 - 8:05 pm ICT by BNO News  

NEW YORK (BNO NEWS) — United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday called for calm and restraint after the recent wave of hostilities in the Middle East.

The fresh violence captured worldwide attention after United States ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other diplomats were killed on Tuesday night during an attack against the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. The attack also injured three other diplomats, and left other people wounded.

Angry protestors about an online video considered offensive to Islam also attacked U.S. diplomatic compounds in Egypt and Yemen.

In a statement issued, Ban’s spokesperson said the Secretary-General was ‘deeply disturbed’ by the recent incidents and “condemns the hateful film that appears to have been deliberately designed to sow bigotry and bloodshed,” and stressed that at this time of tensions there is a need for “dialogue, mutual respect and understanding.”

The protests in Libya and Egypt were sparked by a 14-minute English-language trailer for an amateur movie called “Innocence of Muslims,” reportedly produced in the state of California by a U.S. citizen . The movie, which cost more than $5 million to make and has 59 actors, depicts Islam’s Prophet Muhammad as a fraud and feckless philanderer who approved of child sexual abuse. It also includes other insulting claims.

Demonstrations against the film first erupted in Egypt on Tuesday, when Islamist protesters scaled the U.S. embassy walls in the capital, Cairo, and replaced the flag with an Islamic one. The violence reportedly left more than 200 people injured.

On Thursday, demonstrators in Yemen stormed the U.S. embassy compound, but were unable to break into the main building. The incident led to one death and injured 15 others.

Meanwhile, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) issued a statement, deploring the film and describing it as ‘insulting and inflammatory.’ The agency also underlined that defamation of religion in all forms is unacceptable. The Mission called on all Afghans to exercise restraint and reject calls to violence or vicious behavior.

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