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Fresh Afghan Riots Over Koran Burning Threat In U.S.

Protesters tried to set up makeshift barricades Nangarhar Province on September 10, the first day of Afghan demonstrations against the Florida pastor's Koran-burning plans.
Officials in central Afghanistan say protesters have set fire to police checkpoints and shops as they demonstrate against the now reportedly withdrawn threat by a U.S. pastor to burn copies of the Koran.

Din Mohammad Darwish, a spokesman for the governor in Logar Province, said police fired warning shots into the air to prevent the protesters from storming the governor's house. He said no injuries were immediately reported.

The protests in Logar Province, just south of Kabul, come as protesters also gathered for a second day in three districts of northeastern Badakhshan Province.

Badakhshan provincial police chief Aqa Noor Kentuz said thousands of people had turned out for a so-far peaceful protest. On September 10, at least three protesters were injured outside a German-run NATO base in Badakhshan.

The threats by the pastor, based in the U.S. state of Florida, to burn the Muslim holy book on the anniversary of 9/11 were condemned by U.S. officials who nevertheless were wary of treading on American rights to freedom of speech.

President Barack Obama repeatedly appealed to all Americans to respect religious diversity.

compiled from agency reports