Seven Killed in Afghanistan as Koran Protests Grow
Kabul, February 22 (RHC)-- Outrage is growing in Afghanistan over the burning of copies of the Koran by foreign troops at the Bagram military airbase. Earlier today, demonstrators stormed through Kabul, leading to a violent confrontation with Afghan troops. At least seven people were killed and dozens wounded.
The protests came after more than 2,000 Afghans rallied outside Bagram on Tuesday. The top NATO general in Afghanistan, General John Allen, apologized for burning the Muslim holy book and said a probe is underway.
According to reports from Kabul, at least one person was killed in the Afghan capital, another in the eastern city of Jalalabad and two in Parwan province. Protesters in Kabul shouted: "Death to America!" and threw stones at Camp Phoenix, the main U.S. base in the city.
There were several demonstrations across Nangarhar province and at least two in the main city of Jalalabad. The first took place outside the university, where students chanted slogans against the U.S.-led NATO occupation. The other protest took place in downtown Jalalabad.
Riot police used water cannons to disperse protesters, some of whom were blocking the road leading to Jalalabad, one of the main trade routes into the capital.
Organizers of the demonstrations say that the U.S. apology for burning the Koran was not enough. At one of the protests, demonstrators set fire to an effigy of U.S. President Barack Obama. And the U.S. Embassy in Kabul is said to be on lockdown, with all travel in and out of Afghanistan suspended