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Afghanistan bans YouTube to stop public watching US-made film insulting Mohammad

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An armed man waves his rifle as buildings and cars are engulfed in flames after being set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi. Photo: Getty Images

An armed man waves his rifle as buildings and cars are engulfed in flames after being set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi. Photo: Getty Images

Pastor Terry Jones whose plans to burn the Koran triggered deadly riots in Afghanistan in 2010. Photo: AP

Pastor Terry Jones whose plans to burn the Koran triggered deadly riots in Afghanistan in 2010. Photo: AP

The US Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames during the protest. Photo: Reuters

The US Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames during the protest. Photo: Reuters

The U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames during a protest by an armed group said to have been protesting a film being produced in the United States

The U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames during a protest by an armed group said to have been protesting a film being produced in the United States

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An armed man waves his rifle as buildings and cars are engulfed in flames after being set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi. Photo: Getty Images

AFGHANISTAN banned the YouTube website on Wednesday to stop Afghans watching a US-made film insulting the Prophet Mohammad that sparked protests in North Africa and the killing of the US ambassador to Libya.

"We have been told to shut down YouTube to the Afghan public until the video is taken down," Aimal Marjan, general director of Information Technology at the Ministry of Communications, told Reuters.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the film, in which Mohammad is portrayed as a philanderer and a religious fake, saying its makers had done a "devilish act" and that insulting Islam was not allowed by freedom of speech.

US pastor Terry Jones, whose plans to burn the Koran triggered deadly riots in Afghanistan in 2010, said he had promoted the film, called "Innocence of Muslims".

The US ambassador to Libya and three embassy staff were killed as they rushed away from a consulate building in Benghazi, stormed by al Qaeda-linked gunmen. Another assault was mounted on the US embassy in Cairo.

Marjan declined to say if the order to close YouTube in Afghanistan was to prevent violence or to protect his countrymen from being offended.

The accidental burning of Korans at a US base near Kabulin February drew thousands of protesters to the streets acrossAfghanistan for weeks and dozens of people were killed.

Reuters