Quran burning protests turn violent in Afghanistan

One civilian reported dead, eight wounded in separate incidents at NATO bases

Numerous protests broke out in Afghanistan, two of which turned violent, in response to plans by Florida pastor Terry Jones plan to burn copies of the Quran, even though Jones announced he had suspended those plans. A hospital official in Western Afghanistan said one civilian was killed and three were wounded by gunshots at a protest outside a NATO in Bala Buluk in Farah Province. In northern Afghanistan, officials said five Afghan protesters were wounded by gunshots, three of them critically, when hundreds of men tried to force their way onto a NATO reconstruction base in Faizabad. Four policemen were also wounded defending the NATO base from attack. Police said protesters attacked the Faizabad base, which is staffed by German soldiers, because they were angered by reports than German Chancellor Angel Merkel had attended an award ceremony in Berlin for the Danish cartoonist whose caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad angered Muslims worldwide. Merkel denounced the plans of the Florida pastor to desecrate the Quran at the same ceremony. Jones’ current intentions are unknown. Though he had canceled plans to stage the event on Saturday in commemoration of 9/11, subsequent comments made to the media made it unclear whether or not he will go ahead with his planned course of action.

New York Times