Seven killed in Afghanistan Koran burning protests

 

Seven people were killed today in clashes between Afghan security forces and protesters demonstrating against the burning of Muslim holy books at a Nato military base.

The anger over the Koran burning has sparked two days of protests across Afghanistan and tapped into anti-foreign sentiment fuelled by a popular perception that foreign troops disrespect Afghan culture and Islam.

The demonstrations prompted the US to lock down its embassy and bar its staff from travelling.

The Afghan Interior Ministry said in a statement that clashes during a protest in the eastern province of Parwan left four people dead. It said an investigation was under way to determine what happened.

The other deaths occurred at a US base outside Kabul, where security guards killed one person, and in Jalalabad and Logar province, the ministry said.

The demonstration in Kabul drew thousands of protesters, who chanted "Death to America", hurled rocks and set tyres alight outside a complex that is home to foreign contractors, police and some coalition military forces.

Nearby, angry demonstrators set a fuel truck ablaze on a main highway running east out of the city, sending black smoke billowing into the air.

The US apologised for burning the copies of the Koran, which had been pulled from the shelves of the Parwan Detention Facility, adjoining Bagram Air Field, because they contained extremist messages or inscriptions.

US General John Allen, the top commander of American and Nato forces in Afghanistan, said the books had been mistakenly given to troops to be burned at a garbage pit without realising it.

He said: "It was not a decision that was made with respect to the faith of Islam. It was a mistake. It was an error. The moment we found out about it we immediately stopped and we intervened."

A Western military official with knowledge of the incident said it appeared that the copies of the Koran and other Islamic readings in the library were being used to fuel extremism, and that detainees were writing on the documents to exchange extremist messages.

As Wednesday's rally in Kabul turned violent, city police chief Mohammad Ayub Salangi arrived at the scene with hundreds of reinforcements who broke up the protest.

"They have the right to demonstrate, but they have to do it in accordance with the law," said his deputy, Daud Amin.

Several miles away, hundreds of protesters were throwing rocks at Camp Phoenix, a US military base, said Kabul provincial police spokesman Ashmatullah Stanekzai. Shots were also fired in the air at Camp Phoenix.

After the Koran burning was made public on Tuesday, more than 2,000 Afghans protested outside the Bagram air base near the capital.

In Parwan, provincial police chief Akram Bigzad said about 2,000 protesters were demonstrating outside a district headquarters when some of them opened fire with weapons.

"In the crowd there were rebels and Taliban who had weapons. They opened fire and fighting started. Four were killed and 10 were wounded. They are Talib," he said.

A protest in Logar province also turned violent after someone in a group of about 300 demonstrators opened fire on police. Police returned fire, killing one protester, said provincial police chief General Ghulam Sakhi Roogh Lawanay.

Two protesters and two police officers were also wounded, he added.

AP

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Life and Style
tech
Sport
Andros Townsend is challenged by Vladimir Volkov
football
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Y1 Teacher

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Y1 Teacher required for a So...

Senior Financial Services Associate - City

Highly Competitive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - FINANCIAL SERVICES - Senior...

Residential Property

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Residential Conveyancer - Wiltshire We have a...

Y5 Teacher

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Long term position for a KS2...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week