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Thousands Protest Koran-Burning Plans In Northeastern Afghanistan

On September 6, protesters marched in Kabul to protest the Koran-burning plan.
Local officials say protesters in northeastern Afghanistan have thrown rocks at a NATO base to protest plans by a U.S.-based church to burn copies of the Koran.

Local officials and police said a crowd estimated to number several thousand people poured into the streets of Fayzabad, the capital of Badakhshan Province.

The demonstration began after special Eid al-Fitr prayers to mark the end of Ramadan.

Local police said at least three people were wounded when private security guards opened fire on protesters throwing rocks at a German-run NATO base in northeastern Badakhshan province. Unconfirmed reports said one protester was shot dead.

There were reports of protests in several other provinces as well.

The plan by the pastor of a small Florida-based church to burn copies of the Muslim holy book on the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States has drawn worldwide condemnation.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai called the plan "sacrilege."

"I want to tell [pastor Terry Jones] that the sacrilege against Koran would not damage the Koran," Karzai said. "Koran is in the hearts and minds of all of the more than 1,400-million Muslims, but the affront against the holy books is humiliation to the people. And we are hopeful that he by all means give up from this affront and should not even think of it."

U.S. military commanders have warned it would endanger the lives of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The pastor, Terry Jones, has said the plan is now on hold, but he has not canceled it.

compiled from agency reports