BEIRUT

Middle East

YouTube extends film curb to Saudi Arabia

WASHINGTON: YouTube said Wednesday it extended its restrictions on a video sparking unrest in the Islamic world to Saudi Arabia, saying it is among countries where the film is considered illegal.

YouTube parent Google said in a statement that the "Innocence of Muslims" film would be restricted "in countries where it is considered illegal by local authorities; that is, to date, India, Indonesia. Malaysia and Saudi Arabia."

YouTube last week restricted access to the film in Egypt and Libya after unrest in those countries, and has been adding countries to the list. Some others including Pakistan and Sudan, have blocked access themselves.

Wednesday's announcement came a day after Saudi Arabia threatened to block YouTube in the kingdom if Google did not respond to a request to deny access to the video.

The low-budget film "Innocence of Muslims," incited a wave of bloody anti-American violence in cities across the Muslim world which targeted symbols of US influence ranging from embassies and schools to fast food chains.

At least 30 people have died so far in unrest connected to the film in over 20 countries.

Among those killed were the US ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three other Americans in an attack last week on the US consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi.

The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Yemen have ordered blocking access to all websites carrying the video.

 
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