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5 killed, 79 injured in new protests over Quran burning

5 killed, 79 injured in new protests over Quran burning

Feb 25, 2012 - 12:39

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Four people were killed and 79 others, including three policemen, were injured in clashes as angry protests over the burning of the Quraninfo-icon at the Bagram Airbase entered a fifth day on Saturday, officials said. 

Four demonstrators were killed and 56 injured after they attacked the United Nation Assistance Mission in Afghanistaninfo-icon (UNAMA) office in northern Kunduz province. Hundreds of people rallied from the Chaman area toward the UNAMA office and police headquarters at around 10am.

Setting alight security booths and tyres in front of the UNAMA office and police headquarters, the furious demonstrators raised full-throated slogans against the US and threw stones into the buildings in the provincial capital, Kunduz City.   

As police prevented the men from storming the UNAMA office, a violent clash erupted, the 3rd police district officer, Salih Mohammad, told Pajhwok Afghan News. The injured included three policemen, he said, adding he was unaware of the exact casualty figure for protestors. 

But another official, wishing anonymity, said three protestors were killed near the UNAMA office, police headquarters and Khanabad port. He had no information who caused the casualties. 

Public Healthinfo-icon Director Syed Mukhtar said two dead bodies and 29 injured people were brought to the emergency hospital. Twenty-two of the injured were later referred to the Kunduz Zonal Hospital.

Most of the victims had sustained bullet injuries, he said. The journalists, who gathered in Kunduz Square, were stopped from covering the protest.

Elsewhere in the country, one man was killed and three others were injured in clash between protestors and guards of a private security company in central Maidan Wardak province.

A local official, who did not wanted to be named, said the incident took place on the Kabul-Kandahar highway near the Shahab-ud-Din area of Nirkh district, where the security guards opened fire at protestors.

District chief, Muhammad Hanif Hanifi, said only three protectors had been injured in the incident.  The guards open fire after they were hit with rocks, he added.

One protester was shot dead by police in Logar province, where hundreds of people screamed "Death to America" and asked foreign troops to leave the country immediately. Two men were wounded in fire from police, who were pelted with stones.

Despite apologies from senior US officials and religious scholars’ calls for restraint, the nationwide demonstrations continue unabated. Hundreds staged protests in Kabul, Nimroz, Sar-i-Pul, Laghman, Nangarhar and Logar provinces.

In eastern Laghman province, 18 people were injured in police fire when the protestors turned violent in Mehtarlam, the provincial capital. Two of the injured were in critical condition, Public Health Director Dr. Latif Qayyumi said.

In the Pul-i-Charkhi area on the eastern outskirts of Kabul, demonstrators claimed police shot dead four people on Friday. Carrying a dead body during Saturday’s protest, they chanted slogans against the US and asked for the immediate withdrawal of American troops.


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