Kabul, Apr 3 : At least one person was killed and 16 others injured today as new demonstrations erupted in Afghanistan over the burning of Quran in the United States, officials said.
The fresh wave of protests began in Kandahar city and two adjoining districts on the third day of violent demonstrations sparked by the burning of a copy of the Quran by a Florida pastor, Terry Jones.
The United Nations vowed that an attack during protests on Friday that left seven of its staff dead would not derail its work in Afghanistan during a “crucial period” for the war-torn nation.
US President Barack Obama condemned the UN attack and also described the Quran burning as an act of “extreme intolerance and bigotry”.
Casualties were reported today at demonstrations in Kandahar city and the neighbouring districts of Panjwayi and Dand.
“They have brought 16 wounded suffering from stone injuries and bullet wounds. Two are police officers,” Abdul Qayoum Pukhla, the provincial health director told AFP.
At least one person was killed, another government official said on condition of anonymity, though it was not clear where the death took place. Provincial government spokesman Zalmai Ayoubi told AFP the situation was “under control.”
About 500 university students took to the streets in the eastern city of Jalalabad and blocked a key road for several hours, while hundreds of men poured onto the streets in Charikar town, the capital of Parwan province, north of Kabul, local television reported.
On Friday seven staff at the UN mission in the usually quiet northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif were killed during a demonstration against the Quran burning and 10 other people were killed yesterday in protests in Kandahar.
The assault on the UN compound raises fresh concerns over plans by President Hamid Karzai and the international coalition to hand control of security in Mazar-i-Sharif, along with six other areas, to Afghan forces from July 1.
Friday’s attack on the UN was the worst in Afghanistan since the Taliban were toppled in 2001 but special representative Staffan de Mistura vowed the organisation’s work would not be affected.