Hundreds of Afghans threw stones, shouted “death to America” and torched tyres, pouring onto streets Wednesday for a second day of protests against NATO troops for burning copies of the holy Quran. About 500 protesters threw stones at a US military base in Kabul, while in the eastern city of Jalalabad more than 1,000 demonstrators blocked the highway shouting “Death to Americans, Death to Obama”, AFP journalists said. Afghanistan is a deeply religious country where slights against Islam have frequently provoked violent protests and Afghans were incensed that any Western troops could be so insensitive, 10 years after the 2001 US-led invasion.
In Kabul, the crowd attacked anti-riot police, forcing them to retreat, an AFP photographer said. At least one protester was shot, he said, without being able to identify where the shots came from. The Jalalabad protest also involved university students, who chanted “We cannot tolerate insults to the sacred religion of Islam” as they prepared to burn an effigy of US President Barack Obama.