U.S. Embassy TV Ads Condemn Anti-Islam Video Air in Pakistan
The U.S. Embassy in Pakistan is using TV ads to try to calm the anger being aimed against the United States as a result of an anti-Islam video.
The ads feature clips of President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton denouncing the video at recent press conferences. The State Department says the embassy is running the ads because it determined that Obama and Clinton's comments were not reaching enough of the Pakistani public through regular news reporting.
Pakistan is the only country where the ads are running. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the ad was produced by the embassy, which spent $70,000 to air the 30-second spot on seven Pakistani television stations. Pakistan is the only country where the ads are running. The embassy wanted to run the ads because it determined that the messages of Obama and Clinton were not reaching enough of the Pakistani public through regular news reporting, Nuland said.
Despite the effort to quell the unrest over the video, protesters clashed with security officials in Pakistan's capital today as a crowd of more than 2,000 people tried unsuccessfully to reach the U.S. Embassy. Riot police used tear gas and batons to keep them away.
There were demonstrations in other Pakistani cities today, but protests have tapered off in many other countries.
The State Department today is warning U.S. citizens to put off any non-essential travel to Pakistan until further notice.
In Indonesia, the U.S. consulate in the country's third-largest city of Medan was closed for a second day because of demonstrations. Fifty students from an Islamic university gathered in Makassar, the capital of South Sulawesi province in Indonesia to protest the film.
In Iran, hundreds of students and clerics gathered outside the French embassy in Tehran to protest the publication of the caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in the French weekly. In Kabul, a few hundred people demonstrated against the film before dispersing peacefully. (AP)