» 02/25/2012 AFGHANISTAN Fifth day of protests over Koran burning. UN headquarters in Kunduz attacked Toll from unrest rises to 20 dead. Another protester killed in Logar province (eastern Turkey). Afghan workers at Bagram base: U.S. military burned the sacred books of ignoring our pleas.
Kabul (AsiaNews) - The toll from five-days of
protests over the burning of the Koran has risen to 20 dead and hundreds
thousands of demonstrators surrounded the UN complex in Kunduz (Northern Afghanistan) trying to storm the building
guarded by police and army. In
Mehterlam, capital of the eastern province
of Logar, a crowd of
hundreds of people stormed the offices of the governor. In the clashes,
police killed a protester.
experts say the episode is putting into serious question the image of the U.S.
Army and ten years of struggle against Islamic extremism.
these days the authorities have collected the testimonies of workers employed
in the military base in Bagram to shed light on the incident. From
the accounts it emerges that the U.S. soldiers burned copies of the
Koran while ignoring the pleas of Muslim workers.
Sayed, an Afghan of 22 years, said that last February 20 he was working with
other Afghan colleagues in one of the waste disposal areas on the base, when
three soldiers arrived on the site aboard a military truck full of books and
religious material and have started to throw
the contents into the incinerator. "When
we realized that they were copies of the Koran - Jamil says - we alerted the
driver asking why they wanted to burn the book. The soldier responded by saying
that it was material of the prison and they were ordered to discard it". The
men plunged their hands into the oven to try to save the texts, some burning
their fingers and hands as they pulled eight Koran copies from the fire, he
reaction of the Afghan workers scared the soldiers who fled with the still
carrying more than half of the box full of copies of the Koran.