Thousands of Afghans staged new demonstrations Friday over the burning of Qurans at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan, evidence that President Barack Obama’s apology has so far failed to quiet the outrage over the incident.
About 4,000 protesters marched toward the governor’s compound in Khost, the capital of Khost province, police said. In the eastern part of Nangarhar province, several thousand shouted “Death to America!” and burned a cardboard picture of Obama.
In the capital Kabul, about 100 protesters gathered near the Ministry of Defense but scattered when Afghan soldiers fired in the air. One protester suffered a bullet wound in his right leg.
Anti-American protesters also gathered in several other locations around Kabul, including in the city’s east, where a demonstrator, his clothes covered in blood, was carried from the scene as about 200 police tried to push the crowd back.
“We don’t care about Obama’s apology,” said Kamaluddin, a 25-year-old Kabul protester who uses only one name. “We have to protest to be responsible to our god. They are burning our Quran. An apology is not enough.”
Afghan security forces were put on high alert to deal with demonstrations that were expected around the country after Friday prayers.
U.S. Gen. John Allen, the top commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, said an investigation into the Quran burning incident at Bagram Air Field was under way and called on Afghans to be patient and exercise restraint. The rest at source