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Pakistan PM Says Bounty For Anti-Islam Filmmaker 'Not Government Policy'


Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf
Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf
Pakistan's prime minister has issued a lukewarm statement in response to a cabinet minister who offered a $100,000 bounty to anyone who kills the maker of the anti-Islamic film "The Innocence of Muslims."

A spokesman for Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf told the French news agency AFP that the bounty "is not government policy."

"We completely dissociate [ourselves] from this," spokesman Shafqat Jalil said.

Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmed Bilour on September 22 offered the bounty, calling on the Taliban and Al-Qaeda to carry out the "noble deed" of killing the filmmaker.

Bilour said he'd carry out the killing with his own hands if given the chance.

About 23 people have died in Pakistan during nearly two weeks of protests against the film.

Elsewhere, Greek riot police used tear gas and pepper spray to disperse hundreds of Muslim protesters during a rally against the film.

Police said six people were detained during the September 23 protests in a square in central Athens. No injuries were reported.

Some 600 people attended the rally, which was mostly peaceful.

The rally briefly turned violent when some in the crowd clashed with riot police, hurling bottles at them. Three cars were reportedly damaged and three shops vandalized.

Police cordoned off Omonia Square, preventing the demonstrators from marching to the U.S. Embassy some three kilometers away.

In Bangladesh, schools and businesses were closed across the country as conservative Islamic groups called a general strike to protest the film.

Security in the capital, Dhaka, was tight following clashes between demonstrators and riot police on September 22 in which dozens of people were injured and dozens more arrested.

Based on reporting by dpa, Reuters, AP, and AFP

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