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Pakistan blocks cell phones on prophet protest day

  • Pakistani students stand on a container which was set by security personnel to stop protesters near the U.S. embassy against an anti-Islam film in Islamabad on September 20, 2012. (AFP PHOTO /Farooq NAEEM)

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has blocked cell phone service in major cities to prevent militants from using phones to detonate bombs during a national day of protest against an anti-Islam film produced in the United States.

An Interior Ministry official says the service is blocked in at least 15 cities, including Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. The service is scheduled to be resumed at 6 p.m. local time.

The ministry official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

The government has declared Friday a national holiday and has encouraged people to peacefully protest a film that denigrates Islam's Prophet Mohammad.

The film has sparked violent protests throughout the Muslim world that have left at least 30 people dead, including two in Pakistan.

 
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