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SLUG: 2-324617 US Koran Protests (L)
TITLE= US/KORAN PROTEST (LONG ONLY)
HEADLINE: Anti-American Protests Continue in Afghanistan
INTRO: Fresh anti-America protests have claimed more lives in Afghanistan as anger spread over a report that U.S interrogators at Guantanamo Bay had desecrated the Koran. Ayaz Gul reports from neighboring Pakistan, where activists of Islamic parties
also have taken to the streets to condemn the reported incident.
TEXT: Afghan officials and witnesses say angry protesters in different parts of the country took to the streets after weekly Friday prayers to condemn the alleged desecration of the Koran. In some places, the demonstrators clashed with police, leaving several people dead.
U.S officials investigating the alleged incident at Guantanamo detention facility, say they have found no evidence to confirm it took place.
The bloody protests across Afghanistan began earlier this week after a US magazine (Newsweek) reported that interrogators at the American detention facility had allegedly desecrated the Koran to rattle prisoners.
In neighboring Pakistan, the parliament unanimously passed a resolution to condemn what it called a "highly objectionable and shameful" act by U.S interrogators. The speaker of the National Assembly read out the text of the resolution.
"The reported act of sacrilege has shocked the people of every faith all over the world. The National Assembly condemns (this act) and demands USA to bring to justice the perpetrators who committed this shameful act."
But a call for massive street protests by Islamic parties in Pakistan after Friday's prayers fell flat with only a few hundred demonstrators turning out in major cities. The rallies ended peacefully.
U.S Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice has said the U.S. government will take action if the allegations are proven true. She has urged Muslims to resist calls for violence, saying any disrespect to the Koran would never by tolerated by the United States. (SIGNED)
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