Protesters torch a cinema in Peshawar, Pakistan on Friday, Sept 21, 2012. — AP Photo

PESHAWAR: Angry demonstrators set fire to at least six cinemas in Peshawar and Karachi on Friday amidst violent protests as the country marked a day of protests against an anti-Islam film.

Protestors attacked Capri, Nishat and Prince cinemas in Karachi, as they marched on the main M.A. Jinnah road in the city’s downtown area.

According to DawnNews, Capri and Nishat cinemas were partially damaged while Prince cinema was set afire by violent mobs.

Pakistani police inspect a burnt-out cinema complex following violent protests against an anti-Islam film in Karachi on September 22, 2012. — AFP Photo

Meanwhile, one protester was wounded when a cinema guard opened fire as angry crowds armed with clubs and bamboo poles converged on the Firdaus picture house, smashing it up and setting furniture ablaze, police officer Gohar Ali told AFP.

Witnesses said a rampaging crowd stormed the Shama cinema, smashing windows and setting it on fire.

When the protestors reached Arbab Road in the provincial capital, they attacked Capital cinema. The mobs broke down the cinema’s main gate and set fire to its screen.

Pakistani Muslim demonstrators prise a hoarding from a wall as they attack a cinema complex during a protest  in Peshawar on September 21, 2012.  — AFP Photo

Tens of thousands are expected to take to the streets across the country after the government called an impromptu public holiday to let people protest.

Security in the country was tight, with shops and businesses closed and usually busy streets deserted, after calls from all the major political and religious parties for a day of protest.

The authorities shut down the mobile phone network in major cities across the country in an effort to avoid violence. - Files from AFP and DawnNews

Protesters torch a cinema in Peshawar, Pakistan on Friday, Sept 21, 2012. — AP Photo

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