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Protests over anti-Islam film hit Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Youths protesting an anti-Islamic film clashed with riot police Thursday while the U.S. Embassy bought ads on Pakistani television condemning the video in an attempt to cool the anger.

Violence linked to the movie has left at least 30 people in seven countries dead, including the American ambassador to Libya. Two people have died in protests in Pakistan.

In recent days, the decision by a French satirical magazine to release cartoons crudely depicting the prophet has added to the tension. Most outrage appears linked to the amateurish movie, which portrays the prophet as a fraud, womanizer and child molester.

The television ads in Pakistan feature clips of President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during press appearances in Washington in which they condemned the video. Their words were subtitled in Urdu.

"We absolutely reject its content and message," Clinton said in the ad. The ads end with the seal of the American Embassy in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital.

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.

Protests have tapered off in many countries, but in Pakistan Thursday, more than 2,000 people tried to reach the U.S. Embassy inside a guarded enclave that houses embassies and government offices. Riot police used tear gas and batons to keep the stone-throwing demonstrators away from the enclave. The government later called in army troops to help protect the restricted areas.

The demonstrations are expected to grow today as Friday is the traditional Muslim day of prayer.

In Indonesia, the U.S. Consulate in the country's third-largest city of Medan was closed for a second day because of demonstrations.

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