A peaceful protest in Lebanon and a violent one in Pakistan highlighted Friday demonstrations against a film and series of cartoons recently published in France mocking the Muslim Prophet Mohammed.
The United States and Germany closed some diplomatic facilities in expectation that protests could intensify after weekly prayer services Friday.
Since September 11, when protesters breached the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and a separate protest in Libya ended in the death of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, Muslims have staged protests in more than 20 countries.
The protests have focused on the film “Innocence of Muslims,” as well as cartoons published by the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, and heavy criticism of the United States and Western cultures for allowing what Muslims view as unacceptable smears against their faith.
Among Friday’s developments:
Protesters burn cinemas in Pakistan
Pakistan’s interior minister warned that the government will take “strict action” in response to the destruction of property after protesters in Peshawar, Pakistan, set fire to two movie theaters Friday morning, killing one person and injuring dozens, according to officials.
“We have also alerted the army; if things get worse, they will come in,” Rehmam Malik told reporters Friday afternoon in Islamabad. “I said it yesterday and I’m saying it again, we mean business.”
Firefighters extinguished one of the Peshawar theater blazes in about 90 minutes but were not able to get to the other one, said Nadir Shah, a fire brigade official.
At least 25 people were injured, three of them critically, said Majid Qureshi, a doctor at a local hospital. A member of the media was also shot in killed in the protest, Qureshi said.
Peshawar police said four policemen were also injured.
The protests blossomed despite the suspension of cell phone service Thursday night.
Crowds of protesters were reported in Islamabad, and CNN affiliate Geo TV reported protests in Rawalpindi and Karachi.
The protests come a day after about 100 children in Karachi chanted anti-American slogans during a protest in the coastal Pakistani city, a police official said.
Video showed children repeating an adult voice that said “Death to America” and “Any friend of America is a traitor.”