2 killed in Afghan anti-Quran-burning protest

Two protesters died and four were injured as Afghans protested for a third day on Sunday against a plan by an American pastor to burn copies of the Islamic holy book, despite his decision to call off the action.

Updated: Sep 13, 2010, 00:36 AM IST

Kabul: Two protesters died and four were
injured as Afghans protested for a third day on Sunday against a
plan by an American pastor to burn copies of the Islamic holy
book, despite his decision to call off the action.

Mohammad Rahim Amin, chief of the Baraki Barak district
in eastern Logar province, said the deaths and injuries
occurred when Afghan soldiers opened fire on hundreds of
protesters who were trying to storm the local government
headquarters.

During recent protests against the Quran burning, Afghans
have regularly targeted the pro-Western government.

Terry Jones, pastor of a small Florida church, said
yesterday that "we feel that God is telling us to stop" the
Quran burning, which was to coincide with the ninth
anniversary of the Sep 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.

The plan to burn the Quran stirred outrage among millions
of Muslims and others worldwide.

The protesters in Logar chanted "Death to America" and
burned tires, attacked several shops and set election campaign
posters on fire, Amin said.

"I can say for sure that this was the work of the enemies
of peace and stability in Afghanistan who are trying to use
any opportunity to disrupt the security situation" in the
country, Amin said.

In a country where most people have limited access to
newspapers, television and the Internet, many Afghans seemed
unaware of Jones` decision to call off the Quran burning.

Meanwhile, a Taliban commander who planned rocket attacks
on polling stations during elections next week and four other
insurgents were killed in eastern Afghanistan, NATO said
today.

The military alliance said NATO and Afghan forces killed
the five insurgents last night in a village compound in the
eastern Nangarhar province. The insurgents were killed after
they "displayed hostile intent" as the forces moved in on the
compound, it said in a statement.

PTI