Anti-U.S. action prompts calls for peace

Sept. 14, 2012 at 2:31 PM
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GENEVA, Switzerland, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- World leaders are called on to press for calm as anti-American sentiment sweeps across the Middle East, the U.N. rights chief said Friday from Geneva.

U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and members of his support staff died after the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was attacked this week. This assault was in part a response to a film produced in the United States that was considered insulting to Islam.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, described the film as "malicious" but stressed violence wasn't an appropriate response.

"I utterly condemn the killings in Benghazi, and other violent and destructive reactions to the film, and urge religious and political leaders to make a major effort to restore calm," she said in a statement.

World leaders from Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, to U.S. President Barack Obama have called for restraint as violence against U.S. interests in the Middle East and North African continued into Friday.

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, this week expressed concern that certain parties may be abusing the freedom of expression but said the international community can't be held hostage by extremism in any form.

A Twitter account assigned to the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs warned anti-American demonstrations were under way or planned in front of at least a dozen separate embassies, including some in Europe. A worldwide caution remains unchanged since a June update, however.

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