02/22/2012, 00.00
AFGHANISTAN
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Bagram: riots and protests over the burning of the Korans in the U.S. base. Calm in Kabul

AsiaNews sources in Afghanistan define the episode as yet another act of violence against the Afghan people. The events are concentrated in areas outside the capital. In Bagram thousands of people storm the NATO base. U.S. embassy in Kabul closed.

Kabul (AsiaNews) - Protests continue outside the military base at Bagram (60 kilometers northwest of Kabul) after a group of U.S. soldiers burned the Koran. Despite the tense atmosphere, AsiaNews sources stress that "in the center of Kabul there are no demonstrations and the situation is calm." "The protests reported by international agencies are concentrated outside the city and involve several hundred people."

The biggest protests were held at Bagram, where thousands of people surrounded a military camp, throwing stones and Molotov cocktails. The toll is three wounded. To ensure security, Washington has closed its embassy in the capital. After the apologies of General John Allen, commander of the NATO mission in Afghanistan, even Leon Panetta, Minister of Defense of the United States, has apologized to the "noble people of Afghanistan."

The burning occurred yesterday in Bagram airbase. The American soldiers had seized the books from some of the nearby prison inmates who had found a way to communicate with the outside, exchanging copies of the holy book. The material was stacked in a container and set on fire. To denounce the sacrilegious act was a mujahideen used inside the base.

Sources say this is yet another act of violence against the Afghan people and comes shortly after news of a possible dialogue between the Taliban, NATO and the Karzai government. "The people are exasperated by this situation - conclude the sources - it is not the first time that such acts have occured. Burning a holy book is an offense for any person not only for Muslims. The United States should reconsider the way they act in Afghanistan. " (SC)

 

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