UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned a controversial film deemed offensive to Islam that has sparked anti-American protests across the Middle East, saying the "hateful" film appears to be a deliberate attempt to cause bloodshed.
Ban also stressed that there is no justification for the attacks and killings that are being perpetrated across Libya, Egypt, Yemen and other parts of the Middle East in the name of protests over the film made by an Israeli-American.
The UN Secretary-General "condemns the hateful film that appears to have been deliberately designed to sow bigotry and bloodshed," a statement issued by Ban's spokesperson said.
"Nothing justifies such killings and attacks," it said.
The statement on Thursday said Ban is "deeply disturbed" by the violence in Libya and across the Middle East and calls for calm and restraint at this time of rising tensions.
He stressed on the need for dialogue, mutual respect and understanding.
The protesters in Libya attacked the US consulate building in the city of Benghazi on Tuesday, killing American ambassador and three other consulate staff. The protests have spread to Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, Iraq and other countries.
The Security Council had on Thursday condemned the violence stressing the need to bring the perpetrators of the Benghazi attack to justice. The 15-nation body said such acts of violence are "unjustifiable" regardless of the motive and who commits them.
UN High Representative Jorge Sampaio sent a letter to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saying persistence of a climate of intolerance and the alarming increase across countries in the Middle East in acts of discrimination and violence based on religion are of great concern.