Fury at Koran burning fuels Afghan violence
Monday 04 April 2011
Violent protests spread further across Afghanistan during a third day of violence yesterday after the Taliban urged people to rise up following the burning of a Koran by a Florida church.
The Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, followed his US counterpart in condemning the desecration of the holy book in a ceremony two weeks ago, but their criticisms failed to prevent violence spreading to other parts of the country, as the death toll rose from clashes rose to at least 23. Hundreds of demonstrators blocked the main highway in Jalalabad yesterday, burning an effigy of Barack Obama and calling for US troops to leave the country. The eastern city was previously unaffected by the violence. More than 1,000 people set tyres ablaze to block another highway in eastern Parwan province.
The clashes yesterday followed the storming of a UN compound on Friday that left UN staff and their Gurkha guards dead, with two of them beheaded. President Obama criticised the attack but he also described the burning of the Koran by the tiny evangelist church in Florida headed by Pastor Terry Jones as an "act of extreme intolerance and bigotry".
The violence is the latest blow to relations between the two countries since the emergence of images of US Army officers posing with the dead bodies of Afghan civilians. Coverage of the officers' trial has fuelled anger on the streets. Afghan officials have accused Taliban insurgents of hijacking the protests for their own benefit.
* Two suicide bombers detonated explosives at a Sufi shrine in Pakistan yesterday, killing 41. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the blasts at the Sakhi Sarwar shrine in the Dera Ghazi Khan district of Punjab province.
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 5 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery rumours: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
FCKH8: YouTube reinstates provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing
Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
McKamey Manor: This 'extreme' haunted house is the stuff of nightmares
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£47,334 - £59,058 per annum: Coventry University: The Centre for Agroecology, ...