21 Sep 2012

US citizens warned of possible protests in Australia

1:05 pm on 21 September 2012

United States authorities have warned their citizens in Australia to avoid parts of Sydney and Melbourne this weekend due to possible violent protests.

It follows last weekend's unrest in Sydney when the US consulate was the target of protests against a film made in America that mocks the Prophet Mohammed.

America's consular general has now taken the highly unusual step of issuing an emergency message to US citizens, warning them to avoid its central Melbourne and Sydney's Martin Place and Hyde Park this weekend, the ABC reports.

There will be extra police on patrol in Sydney's CBD, but authorities say they so far have no indication there will be a repeat of last week's trouble.

Muslim leaders have called for Friday holy day prayers to be used to urge the Islamic community to remain calm.

Nine people were arrested since the protest in Sydney last Saturday.

US buys TV ads in Pakistan

The United States has bought time on Pakistani television stations to run a series of advertisements in a bid to stem Muslim protests against the movie.

A State Department spokesperson says the ad will run on seven Pakistani TV channels to try to disassociate the US government from the inflammatory film, AFP reports.

The 30-second ad shows clips of President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton taken from speeches they made since the violence flared in Muslim nations last week.