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Afghan province governor's house stormed in Koran protests

PanARMENIAN.Net - Protesters in eastern Afghanistan threw rocks at police and tried to storm the governor's house in Laghman province on Saturday, Feb 25, kicking off a fifth day of riots sparked by the burning of Korans at a U.S. base, AP reported.

At least 25 people have been killed and hundreds wounded since Tuesday, when it first emerged that Korans and religious materials had been thrown into a fire pit used to burn garbage at Bagram Air Field, a large U.S. base north of Kabul. President Barack Obama and other U.S. officials apologized and said it was a terrible mistake, but the incident has sent thousands to the streets in this deeply religious country.

Hundreds of demonstrators staged peaceful protests in Nangarhar, Logar and Paktia provinces, but the one in Laghman turned violent.

Provincial police chief Abdul Rahman Sarjang said about 1,000 protesters threw stones at Afghan security forces, smashed windows of government buildings and tried to attack the nearby governor's house. He said three policemen, two intelligence officers and three civilians were injured in the melee.

Sarjang said there were gunmen among the protesters, but the police did not fire their weapons into the crowd or into the air because they did not want to further incite the mob.

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