9 killed, 81 hurt, 17 suspects held in Kandahar unrest
KANDAHARCITY (PAN): Afghan security forces have arrested 17 people, including seven armed men, in connection with violence during a protest demonstration in Kandahar city on Saturday, the governor's office said.
"At the moment, the arrested men are in detention," the governor's office said in a statement.
Nine people were killed and at least 81 others wounded after a mass rioting demonstration turned violent in Kandahar City.The incident came a day after a similar protest that turned violent in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif left seven UN workers and five Afghan protesters dead. Two of the UN workers were beheaded.
In Kandahar city, some private and public properties were damaged after enemy opportunists' who had penetrated the crowd and led the peaceful demonstration to violence. Around 100 people protested against the burning of a copy of the holy book by an obscure US Pastor in Florida two weeks ago.
"On 09: 15 am this morning, around 100 people started the demonstration in the Charso area of Kandahar City to condemn the abhorrent move of burning the Quran," the governor's office said.
Police tried to control the mob, but the protest turned into riot leaving more than 90 people killed and wounded, it said.
The central and local government of Afghanistan had already condemned the desecration of the Quran.
"Some wicked and destructive people amongst the protestors started rioting throughout the city causing the deaths of 9 people, including a police officer, and injuries to 81 local nationals," the statement said.
The protestors also burned down furniture and bus in a girl high school and destroyed some other local properties in Durahi area, it added.
Local administration in Kandahar is committed to protect protestors according with the constitution, but it strongly condemns this kind of un-Islamic, illegal and destructive moves by the wicked people at all, the statment said.
The governor's office had asked all the security departments to be more careful in keeping the security and sorting out people who had destroyed and burned down local and governmental properties.
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