02/24/2012, 00.00
AFGHANISTAN

Protests over the burning of the Koran: 7 dead in Herat, stones launched at presidential palace in Kabul

Since this morning, hundreds of protesters surrounded the building. Police fired into the air to disperse the crowd. Other demonstrations are in progress in the rest of the country. Obama apologizes to all the people of Afghanistan for the serious mistake of the U.S. soldiers. Death toll reaches 14 victims.

Kabul (AsiaNews) - The official apology of Barack Obama, U.S. president, has failed to appease the anger of Afghans in four days of protest against the burning of the Koran, February 21 in the NATO base in Bagram. Today, 7 people died in Herat during a protest outside the American consulate. In Kabul, hundreds of people gathered in front of the presidential palace hurling stones, bottles and chanting anti-American slogans. To appease the crowd, police fired into the air. Local sources point out that the capital is reinforced and the police are patrolling the streets on board pick-up trucks for fear of attacks on embassies and other government buildings. Protest marches are being held in Baghlan, Kuduz, Nangarhar, Gardez, Mazar-e-Sharif.

In a letter sent yesterday to the Afghan president, Obama expressed his "deep regret for what happened in Bagram," offering his own apologies to all Afghan people, he stressed that the gesture was a pure mistake and announced that necessary measures to prevent the recurrence of such incidents will be taken. Today Hamid Karzai, Afghan president, has called on NATO to try the soldiers who have burned copies of the Muslim holy book.

To date the toll is 19 dead in clashes. Among the victims are also two American soldiers. They were killed by a man wearing an Afghan army uniform while defending the entrance to the military base Khogyani (eastern province of Nangarhar), besieged by an angry mob. A total of 14 deaths in the protests.

 

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