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Pakistan blocks YouTube over 'blasphemous' videos

Telecommunication authorities blocked popular website over Islam's depiction in Dutch cartoon and film.

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Pakistan has ordered all Internet service providers to block the YouTube website for containing "blasphemous" content and material considered offensive to Islam, officials said Sunday.

An inter-ministerial committee has decided to block YouTube because it contained "blasphemous content, videos and documents," a government official told Agence France-Presse. "The site will remain blocked till further orders."

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) told the country's 70 Internet service providers Friday that the popular website would be blocked until further notice, the Associated Press reports.

The authority did not specify what the offensive material was, but a PTA official said the ban concerned a movie trailer for an upcoming film by Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders, who has said he plans to release an anti-Koran movie portraying the religion as fascist and prone to inciting violence against women and homosexuals.

The PTA official, who asked not to be identified because he was not an official spokesman, said the PTA also blocks web sites that show controversial drawings of the prophet Muhammad.

Some 12 cartoons published in September 2005 by the Danish Jyllands-Posten newspaper sparked riots in the Islamic world.

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