Gen. Allen says probe underwayBy Pajhwok Reporter Feb 24, 2012 - 14:31
KABUL (PAN): As protests against the alleged desecration of the Holy Quran continued for the fourth day on the trot, the International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) said on Friday that a joint team was investigating the incident.
Four Quran copies were burnt by US soldiers at the Bagram Airbase in central Parwan province on Tuesday night, sparking violent protests across the country. At least 17 people, including two American troops, have been killed so far during the demonstrations.
Around noon, hundreds of furious men gathered at the Arghandi Intersection of Kabul to protest the blasphemous act. The demonstrators -- chanting Death to America -- tried to march on President Hamid Karzai’s office.
However, they were prevented by law-enforcement personnel. Stringent security arrangements were put in place around the Presidential Palace.
Pajwhok correspondents reported similar demonstrations took place in the Nirkh district of central Maidan Wardak and southern Ghazni provinces. The participants demanded strict action against the troops involved in the incident.
Witnesses to the incident were being interviewed, with a date for completion to be determined, the commander of the NATO-led force said in a statement from the ISAF media office.
“Working together with the Afghan leadership is the only way for us to correct this major error and ensure that it never happens again,” said Gen. John R. Allen.
“I call on everyone throughout the country -- ISAF members and Afghans-- to exercise patience and restraint as we continue to gather the facts surrounding Sunday night’s incident.”
Pledging a full investigation, US President Barack Obama has also expressed his deep regrets to the Afghan government and people over the alleged burning of the Quran.