SAN FRANCISCO - YouTube, the video website owned by Google Inc, said on Wednesday it would not remove a film clip mocking the Islamic Prophet Muhammad that has been blamed for anti-US protests in Egypt and Libya, but it has blocked access to it in those countries.

The clip, based on a longer film, depicts the prophet as a fraud and philanderer and has been blamed for sparking violence at US embassies in Cairo and Benghazi. The U.S. Ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, and three other American diplomats were killed in an attack on the US embassy in Benghazi on Tuesday.

"This video - which is widely available on the Web - is clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube," Google said in a statement. "However, given the very difficult situation in Libya and Egypt, we have temporarily restricted access in both countries. Our hearts are with the families of the people murdered in yesterday's attack in Libya."

The 14-minute clip is a trailer for a film called the "Innocence of Muslims."

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