Thousands in Afghanistan protest now-suspended plan to burn Korans
Shouts of “Death to America!” rang out as Afghan demonstrators Saturday denounced now-suspended plans by an American pastor to burn copies of the Muslim holy book, the Koran.
More than 10,000 people took part in a protest in Logar province, south of the Afghan capital, Kabul.
That demonstration, in the provincial capital of Pul-i-Alam, was initially peaceful but boiled over into violence as some protesters set shops ablaze and tried to storm the governor’s compound.
Logar’s police chief, Gen. Mohammad Mustafa Mohseni, said rock-throwing and clashes between protesters and security forces continued for several hours. At least three people were injured, provincial officials said.
Similar demonstrations took place a day earlier in several locations around Afghanistan, despite the calling off of plans by a Florida church group to commemorate the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks with Koran-burning.
The threat galvanized anger across the Muslim world and drew widespread condemnations from diplomats, international organizations, religious figures and world leaders, including President Obama.
Protests also flared for a second day Saturday in Badakhshan province, in Afghanistan’s north. A day earlier, a large demonstration in the provincial capital left nearly a dozen people injured.
Baktash is a special correspondent. Staff writer Laura King contributed to this report from Dubai.