[Marxism] Aljazeera: Anti-US, anti-Guantanamo protests spread in Afghanistan

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Thu May 12 20:15:19 MDT 2005

Anti-US protests spread in Afghanistan 
Thursday 12 May 2005 9:04 PM GMT 

Thousands of Afghans protested in 10 provinces  

Anti-US protests sparked by reports of desecration of the Quran by
American interrogators at Guantanamo Bay have spread across Afghanistan,
leaving three more people dead.

Seven people have been killed and at least 76 injured during three days
of violent demonstrations, all of them in clashes with security forces
and police in towns east of the capital Kabul.

Angry Afghans shouting "Death to America" poured onto the streets of
Kabul itself on Thursday for the first time as protests at the reported
desecration also broke out in 10 of the country's 34 provinces.

The United Nations and foreign aid agencies evacuated hundreds of
workers from Jalalabad fearing further violence.

Worsening violence

Two protesters were killed when gunfire erupted as police stopped them
from marching into the eastern city of Jalalabad, deputy governor of
Nangarhar province Mohammad Asif Qazizada said.

Newsweek alleged the Quran was
descretaed in Guantanamo Bay

Another person died and four were wounded when rioters attacked a police
station in the Chak district of Wardak province, interior ministry
spokesman Lutfullah Mashal said.

The protests were sparked by a small report in Newsweek magazine last
week stating that interrogators at the US military detention centre in
Guantanamo Bay desecrated copies of the Quran by leaving them in toilet
cubicles and even stuffing one down a lavatory to rattle Muslim

The controversy has also spread to Pakistan, where demonstrations were
held in Peshawar and Quetta, two major cities close to the border with

The US has promised to investigate the desecration claim. 

Rice statement 

US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice on Thursday called disrespect
for the holy book "abhorrent" and promised to punish offenders.

"If they are proven true, we will take appropriate action. Respect for
religious freedom for all individuals is one of the founding principles
of the United States"

Condoleezza Rice 
US secretary of state

"Our military authorities are investigating these allegations fully,"
Rice said. "If they are proven true, we will take appropriate action.
Respect for religious freedom for all individuals is one of the founding
principles of the United States."

But the top US military officer said a review of interrogation logs has
so far found no evidence to corroborate the explosive allegations.

"They cannot confirm yet that there was ever the case of the toilet
incident except in one case, a log entry that they still have to
confirm, where a detainee was reported by a guard to be ripping pages
out of a Quran and putting them in a toilet to stop it up as a protest,"
said General Richard Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.


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