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Bangladesh blocks Facebook access over Mohammed images

Bangladesh has blocked access to Facebook after derisive images of the prophet Mohammed and the country's leaders were published on the social networking website.

The government ordered the temporary ban late on Saturday as caricatures of Mohammed posted on the site “hurt the religious sentiments of the country's Muslim population”, Hasan Mahmud Delwar, acting chairman of the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, said.

One man was arrested on Saturday by Bangladesh's Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) anti-crime force in connection with the images.

According to the RAB, the man used at least six Facebook accounts to publish the pictures and has been charged with “spreading malice”.

Thousands of Bangladeshis staged a protest in Dhaka on Friday in support of a ban on Facebook. Anger was directed at the “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” campaign hosted on the website on May 20, which prompted images to be posted. Muslims consider representations of the prophet to be blasphemous.

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