American apologies are falling on deaf ears in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan, where anger over the burning of Qurans is boiling over.
Deadly anti-American protests erupted in Afghanistan for a fourth day Friday, with thousands of Afghans pouring onto the streets following Friday prayers, many chanting “Death to America.”
Afghan officials say at least nine people were killed, seven of them in the western province of Herat, when demonstrations there turned violent. Hundreds protested near the American consulate in Herat, but U.S. officials denied reports that anyone was shot while trying to storm the compound.
Friday’s fatalities bring the death toll after four days of unrest in Afghanistan to at least 22. Two American soldiers were among those killed on Thursday.
Protesters chanting anti-American slogans demonstrated Friday in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, and in the northwestern city of Peshawar.
U.S. President Barack Obama has sent a written apology to Afghan President Hamid Karzai about the desecration of Qurans at Bagram. The U.S. Embassy in Kabul has urged Americans to avoid any unnecessary movement within the South Asian nation.
On Thursday, the Taliban issued a statement calling on Afghans to launch attacks on foreign targets in retaliation for the burning of the Muslim holy book.
On Wednesday, President Karzai appealed for calm, saying citizens have the right to protest, but should not resort to violence. The Afghan delegations assigned to probe the incident have also appealed to the Afghan people to avoid resorting to protests.
Source AP, Reuters