Quran burning: Kandahar protests kill 2 cops

New protests in Afghanistan over the burning of Quran in US,claimed the lives of two cops injuring 20.

Updated: Apr 03, 2011, 23:35 PM IST

Kandahar: Two policemen were killed and 20 people wounded in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Sunday during the second day of violent protests in the city against the burning of a Koran by a radical fundamentalist U.S. pastor, a senior official said.

"The information I have is that two policemen have been killed and 20 others including police, protesters and citizens, have been wounded," Ahmad Wali Karzai, head of the Kandahar provincial council said.

Another 14 people, including two children, were wounded when a gas canister taken from a shop was set on fire, causing an explosion, the spokesman for the Kandahar provincial governor said.

The United Nations vowed that an attack during
protests on Friday that left seven of its staff dead would not
derail its work in Afghanistan during a "crucial period" for
the war-torn nation.

US President Barack Obama condemned the UN attack and
also described the Quran burning as an act of "extreme
intolerance and bigotry".

Casualties were reported today at demonstrations in
Kandahar city and the neighbouring districts of Panjwayi and
Dand.

"They have brought wounded suffering from stone
injuries and bullet wounds. Two are police officers," Abdul
Qayoum Pukhla, the provincial health director said.

At least one person was killed, another government
official said on condition of anonymity, though it was not
clear where the death took place.

Provincial government spokesman Zalmai Ayoubi said
the situation was "under control."

About 500 university students took to the streets in
the eastern city of Jalalabad and blocked a key road for
several hours, while hundreds of men poured onto the streets
in Charikar town, the capital of Parwan province, north of
Kabul, local television reported.

On Friday seven staff at the UN mission in the usually
quiet northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif were killed during a
demonstration against the Quran burning and 10 other people
were killed yesterday in protests in Kandahar.

The assault on the UN compound raises fresh concerns
over plans by President Hamid Karzai and the international
coalition to hand control of security in Mazar-i-Sharif, along
with six other areas, to Afghan forces from July 1.

Friday`s attack on the UN was the worst in Afghanistan since
the Taliban were toppled in 2001 but special representative
Staffan de Mistura vowed the organisation`s work would not be
affected.

Agencies