February 23, 2012 in Nation/World

9 die in Afghan protests

Associated Press photo

An Afghan policeman aims his rifle toward protesters, unseen, during an anti-U.S. demonstration in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday over an incident the U.S. said was inadvertent burning of Muslim holy books at a military base in Afghanistan.
(Full-size photo)

KABUL, Afghanistan – At least nine people were killed and dozens wounded Wednesday in the second day of anti-American protests in Afghanistan after U.S. personnel burned Qurans and other Islamic material at Bagram air base, officials said.

Six protesters were killed and 13 wounded in Parwan province, north of Kabul, where Bagram is. Shah Wali Shahed, the province’s deputy governor, said police were forced to open fire when protesters attacked a district police headquarters.

One person was killed and 10 wounded outside Camp Phoenix, one of the few U.S.-led coalition bases in the capital, when guards fired on several hundred Afghans who were throwing stones and burning tires.

Protests also swept the eastern city of Jalalabad, where demonstrators burned 11 fuel tankers bound for a coalition base. One person was killed there. Another person was killed in Logar province, south of Kabul.

The protests took place despite fulsome apologies Tuesday by Marine Gen. John R. Allen, the commander of U.S.-led international forces in Afghanistan, and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, who condemned the Quran burning “in the strongest possible terms.”

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