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Afghan cleric offers cash for death of film producer

French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo's publisher and cartoonist, known only as Charb, at his desk on September 19, 2012 in Paris. (AFP PHOTO THOMAS SAMSON)

KABUL: An Afghan cleric has offered rewards totalling $400,000 for anyone killing the producer of a US-made anti-Islam film and a French cartoonist who drew caricatures of the Muslim prophet Mohammed.

"I have offered $300,000 to anyone who kills the anti-Islam film producer and $100,000 for killing the French cartoonist," Mir Faroq Husaini, a prominent cleric in the western province of Herat, told AFP Sunday.

Husaini said he had first announced the reward during a sermon on Friday in a large mosque in the city.

"I will sell all my properties, including my lands in Herat, to collect the money," he said.

Afghanistan is a devoutly Muslim nation and perceived insults to religion are taken seriously, often with violent consequences.

The "Innocence of Muslims", a crudely made film that mocks Islam, triggered violent protests in at least 20 countries including Afghanistan after excerpts were posted online last month.

Immediately after the film gained notoriety, French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo published cartoons caricaturing the Muslim prophet.

A Pakistani government minister last month placed a $100,000 bounty on the head of the maker of the film.

Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmed Bilour also called on the Taliban and Al-Qaeda to join the hunt and help accomplish the "noble deed".

 

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