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Cartoon row: Four people dead in Qalat

Police had opened fire to control rioters in Afghanistan during the fifth day of protests against cartoons of Prophet.

india Updated: Feb 08, 2006 18:13 IST

Four people were killed on Wednesday as police opened fire to control stone-throwing rioters in Afghanistan duringthe fifth day of protests against cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, the army said.

A number of people were also wounded in the protests in Qalat, the capital of southern Zabul province, including the city's police chief, said the Afghan National Army brigade commander in Zabul, Abdul Razaq.

"Four protestors have died. Eleven protestors have been wounded. One national army soldier is also seriously wounded. A number of police are also wounded," he told.

A doctor at the city's main hospital said earlier that three bodies had been taken to the hospital, as had 12 wounded protestors and five wounded police.

A provincial official said police had opened fire to control the crowd of about 400 demonstrators.

Razaq said the protestors had set ablaze four tankers supplying fuel to a base for the US-led coalition. They had also blocked a key highway passing the city.

"Now the protest has come under control," he said.

The new deaths bring to 11 the number of Afghans killed in riots against the publication of newspaper cartoons of the Prophet.

First Published: Feb 08, 2006 17:00 IST