9 Afghans killed in 5th day of demos over Qur’an burning
Islam Times - Nine people have been shot dead by Afghan security forces as demonstrations over the burning of copies of the Holy Qur’an and other Islamic reading material at a US military base continued for a fifth day.
Four protesters were killed and 50 others wounded in the northern province of Kunduz on Saturday when hundreds of angry demonstrators tried to overrun a compound housing workers from the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
A protester was shot dead and twenty others wounded when demonstrators hurled stones in the eastern province of Laghman, located 260 kilometers (161 miles) east of the Afghan capital Kabul.
At least three protesters were killed and two more injured in the eastern province of Logar on Saturday in violent clashes between angry demonstrators and Afghan security forces.
A protester was also killed in the central province of Wardak as hundreds of protesters -- many chanting "Death to America!" -- charged at police.
Despite an apology from US President Barack Obama and a call for restraint from Afghan President Hamid Karzai, anti-US demonstrations are continuing across Afghanistan over the desecration of the Holy Qur’an at the US military’s Bagram Airbase, located 11 kilometers (7 miles) southeast of the city of Charikar in the northern province of Parwan.
The desecration of the Holy Qur’an underscores the insensitivity of the US-led forces about the cultural and religious values and rituals of Afghanistan, more than 10 years after they invaded the Asian nation to remove the Taliban from power.
Insecurity continues to rise across Afghanistan despite the presence of some 130,000 US-led forces in the war-torn country.
The United Nations announced on February 4 that 2011 was the deadliest on record for Afghan civilians. The death toll rose eight percent compared to the year before and was roughly double the figure for 2007.
Overall, 3,021 civilians died in violence related to the war and 4,507 were wounded in 2011. Of the deaths, the UN attributed 77 percent to militant attacks and 14 percent to US-led foreign troops and Afghan forces. Nine percent of the cases were classified as unknown.
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