Two killed as Afghans protest US troop’s Quran desecration

May 23rd, 2008 - 1:03 am ICT by admin  

Kabul, May 22 (DPA) At least two people were killed in western Afghanistan when people took to the streets to protest against the descration of Islamic holy book Quran by a US soldier in Iraq, the police said Thursday. More than 1,000 protesters tried to storm a NATO-led Lithuanian military base in Chaghcharan, the capital of Ghor province, Thursday afternoon, chanting anti-US and anti-West slogans, Shah Jahan Noori, provincial police chief, said.

“After police stopped the people from entering the base, the protesters threw stones and some of them opened fire on police, wounding ten policemen,” Noori said.

Two people were killed and six other protesters were wounded when police returned fire and tried to push back the “angry mob who wanted to attack UN and other government buildings in the city too”.

Some “Taliban sympathizers and those who were provoked by the Taliban” were among the protesters, Noori said, adding, “I am sure the protest was provoked by the Taliban elements.”

A local official, who did not want to be named, said that three protesters were killed and more a dozen were wounded. The official said that the protesters also burned two oil tankers destined for NATO soldiers in the city.

US President George W. Bush has apologized to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki after the US soldier was punished for using the Quran for target practice, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters Tuesday.

Bush regretted the desecration of Islam’s holy book and informed the Iraqi leader that that the soldier had been reprimanded and removed from Iraq, Perino said.

Similar demonstrations also took place in Afghanistan’s northern Badakhshan province Thursday, witnesses said.

The protesters in Faizabad, the provincial capital, asked the Afghan government to end its political relations with the US and to expel US soldiers from Afghanistan, Ahmad Bari, one of the organizers of the demonstration said.

The demonstration ended without any violence.

Hundreds of students in the northern province of Kunduz took to streets Wednesday and chanted anti-US slogans, while in Kabul dozens of Afghan members of parliament walked out of the lower house of parliament Tuesday in protest.

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