Pakistani PM calls for calm as protest claims several lives

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ISLAMABAD, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf appealed for calm after violent protests erupted across the country on Friday against the U.S.-made anti-Islam movie allegedly mocking the Prophet Mohammed.

"Destroying property and resorting to violence negate the spirit of Islam and teachings of the Prophet,"Ashraf said in a statement issued by his media office.

The Prime Minister appealed to the people to stop violence and express anger peacefully.

He said that the love for the Prophet Mohammed is best expressed by following his teachings of peace and harmony.

Several religious leaders also appealed for calm but their appeals were ignored.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik blamed members of the banned extremist groups for instigating violence.

Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira also criticized the violent protests, saying that this was not the right way of expressing love for the Prophet.

At least nine people were killed and over 100 others injured in violent protests across Pakistan on Friday, officials said.

Friday was declared public holiday by the government to express love and reverence for the Prophet Mohammed, but the protests turned into fierce clashes between police and demonstrators.