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Afghan Protests Against Koran Burning Continue

Smoke billows from UN offices in Mazar-e Sharif after protesters attacked the compound following Friday Prayers on April 1, killing seven UN personnel on a day that saw at least five others die in connection with anger over the Koran burning.
Protests have again erupted in Afghanistan against the burning of a copy of the Koran after a mock trial by a U.S. pastor.

It is the fourth straight day of protests in Afghanistan against the destruction of a copy of Islam's holy book presided over by Terry Jones, the pastor of a small church in Florida.

The police chief of eastern Laghman Province, Abdul Aziz Gharanai, said several hundred protesters gathered in the provincial capital Mehterlam today, throwing stones at police who were firing into the air trying to disperse them.

There were no reports of injuries.

At least 22 people, including seven foreign UN staffers, have been killed in the past three days of protests in Afghanistan sparked by anger over the March 20 burning of the Koran in Florida. The burning followed a mock trial reportedly organized by Jones.

U.S. General David Petraeus, the commander of the U.S.-led international force, condemned Jones' stunt as "hateful, extremely disrespectful, and enormously intolerant," and said it has created extra dangers in the mission against the Taliban.

compiled from agency reports