Anti-US protests grow after Quran report

Thousands of Palestinians have staged protests over the alleged abuse of the Quran at the US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Aljazeera has reported.

    Palestinians in the Gaza Strip protest against the US

    The protests follow mass demonstrations across Afghanistan in the past few days that have left more than 10 people dead and dozens injured after clashes with the police.

    Demonstrations have also been held in Pakistan and Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation.

    The spreading anger comes after a report published by Newsweek magazine said that US interrogators at Guantanamo desecrated copies of the Quran by leaving them in toilet cubicles and stuffing one down a lavatory.

    Friday prayers protest

    In Palestine, Aljazeera reported that about 2000 demonstrators from the Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip held aloft copies of the Quran and Hamas flags as they marched through the streets after Friday prayers. 

    Afghans have demonstrated
    against the US 

    An American and an Israeli flag were burned during the demonstration. Nizar Rayan, a Hamas political leader, said the demonstrators were outraged by "the profanation of the Quran by the enemies of God at Guantanamo and by the Zionist enemies in the prison of occupation". 
    In the city of Hebron in the southern West Bank, about 400 Muslims protested against the alleged incident in the US camp after attending prayers at the Tomb of the Patriarchs, a site also holy to Jews.

    Meanwhile, several people were killed and more than 20 wounded in protests in Afghanistan on Friday, as anger spread over the report, police and residents said. 

    Across Afghanistan

    The deaths occurred in Faizabad, capital of Badakshan province, when more than 1000 people demonstrated against the alleged abuses, deputy provincial governor Shams-ul Rehman told reporters.
    "Three people were killed and 21 others including three policemen were injured in demonstrations today," he said.
    Angry protesters torched the office of Focus Canada, an aid agency mainly funded by the Aga Khan, the billionaire spiritual leader of the world's 15 million Shia Ismaili Muslims.
    "Protesters had been shouting anti-American slogans and marching through the streets of the city but it was now more under control," the deputy governor said.

    Police and security forces were on high alert across Afghanistan since clashes erupted between protesters and government forces on Tuesday.

    Police clashes 

    Cars and government buildings
    have been torched in Pakistan

    They are the worst anti-US demonstrations since the fall of the Taliban in late 2001. 
    Two protesters were killed on Thursday when gunfire broke out as police stopped them marching into the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad from a district to the northwest.
    On Wednesday four people were killed in Jalalabad when police opened fire to control a mob that torched the buildings of several aid agencies, the Pakistani consulate and the governor's house.
    One person died and four were wounded when rioters attacked a police station in Wardak province, which borders Kabul, on Thursday.

    Four police officers and national army soldiers were killed in a clash with protesters in Ghazni province, to the southwest of the capital, residents there said. 

    Promised US inquiry

    Aljazeera's correspondent in Islamabad, Pakistan, reported that mass demonstrations were held after the noon prayer in major Pakistani cities.

    Protesters have set some government buildings ablaze and called for the departure of US forces from Afghanistan. 

    The treatment of Guantanamo 
    prisoners has caused outrage

    The US has responded by promising an inquiry over the alleged abuses.

    US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice used an appearance before a Senate committee on Thursday to make a special statement "directly to Muslims in America and throughout the world" on the reported incidents.
    "Disrespect for the holy Koran is not now, nor has it ever been, nor will it ever be, tolerated by the United States," she said.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.