Taliban urge Afghans to kill 'invaders' amid new Quran burning protests

Published: February 23, 2012

Afghan policemen march towards protesters during a protest near a U.S. military base in Kabul February 22, 2012. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

KABUL: The Taliban urged Afghans on Thursday to target foreign military bases and kill Westerners in retaliation for burnings of copies of the Holy Quran at NATO’s main base in the country as a third day of violent protests began.    

Thousands of demonstrators rallied across the country, some chanting “Death to America!”, Reuters witnesses and officials said. In eastern Kabul, hundreds of youths threw rocks at police, who fired shots into the air to try to disperse the crowds.

“Our brave people must target the military bases of invader forces, their military convoys and their invader bases,” read an e-mailed Taliban statement released by spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.

“They have to kill them (Westerners), beat them and capture them to give them a lesson to never dare desecrate the Holy Quran again.”

Large protests erupted in eastern Laghman province and the eastern city of Jalalabad, despite an appeal by President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday for calm after officials said six people were shot dead and dozens wounded in demonstrations.

Protests also kicked off in the relatively stable northern provinces of Badakhshan and Takhar on the border with Tajikistan, as well as nearby Baghlan province.

The fury could complicate efforts by US and NATO forces to reach agreement on a strategic pact currently under consideration with the Afghan government that would allow a sharply reduced number of western troops in the country well beyond their combat exit deadline of end-2014.

Underscoring these concerns, hundreds of students in Jalalabad rejected any strategic pact with the United States, saying they would “take up jihad” if one were sealed.

The US government and the American commander of NATO-led forces in Afghanistan apologised for “unintentional” burnings after Afghan labourers found charred copies of the Holy Quran while collecting rubbish at the huge Bagram Airbase, about an hour’s drive north of Kabul.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Fahad Raza
    Feb 23, 2012 - 1:47PM

    This is Outrageous . Why doesn’t anyone even comment on this incident..? What else do you expect.

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  • ahmed
    Feb 23, 2012 - 2:20PM

    Protest should be peaceful and non-violent. Killing is not the solution bcoz obama has already said sorry about it.

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  • Ahsan
    Feb 23, 2012 - 2:35PM

    We Pakistanis are so caught up to fill ourselves that we don’t even remember what we are here for.

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  • some one
    Feb 23, 2012 - 3:51PM

    @Ahmed

    Sorry is not enough. have any of the guilty soldiers been court martialed?? If you dont punish them then it means you are with them and supporting them. So the US Army and Government is guilty of supporting the desecrators.

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  • Chilli
    Feb 23, 2012 - 4:20PM

    Every now and then Muslims are tested by the West with such incidents to check whether we are still alive from inside after so much cultural onslaught. Once again result proved that we still respect our religion and ready to do anything for it.

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  • Feb 23, 2012 - 4:32PM

    @ahmed:
    Yes sorry is enough burning Holy books and peeing at dead humans, killings of millions of innocents for economic and strategic reasons, fighting fake and proxy wars, of course sorry is enough, Protests never remains peaceful when u commit same and similar crimes again and again, Get off ur couch, ur Named is Ahmed which is the name of Holy Prophet and seriously ur comment made me sad

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  • god
    Feb 23, 2012 - 4:38PM

    i can see 95% are false believers

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  • Mj
    Feb 23, 2012 - 4:46PM

    @some one:
    What crime are they guilty of that they should be prosecuted?

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  • YeaRight
    Feb 23, 2012 - 5:23PM

    The problem is not just burning of the Quran the problem is Americans are arrogant and have no respect for anything or anyone because their solution for everything is might. They think the world is their backyard they can hop around and do whatever they like, in the MiddleEast they support dictators, then when they feel like it they launch a sham war in Iraq based on false evidence (that too after making the population suffer under 12 years of sanctions) they have no respect for Pakistan’s sovereignty, their CIA agents like Raymond Davis and others can come in pak shoot people and leave as they please, they violate our borders and use drones as they please whether it kills militants or children or innocents. The Americans have a history of loopholing international law, whther it is Guantanamo or Bagram, their soldiers have history of abuse whether Abu Gharaib or Haditha, or Blackwater running wild in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pak. They propagate widespread Islamophobia in their country through the media, politics, in their policy and security agencies – so what do you expect when such incidents happen? Americans are responsible for their own problems, the world and most people are sick of them and just want them to leave and stay confined within their country. They have only done more harm then good and no one has any sympathy for them.

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  • Mohammad
    Feb 23, 2012 - 5:48PM

    @ Ahmed Saying sorry is not enough, if the Cartoonist who drew blasphemous cartoons of our beloved Prophet says sorry, will any muslim accept this …No it should not happen. Recommend

  • Nirmit
    Feb 23, 2012 - 6:56PM

    22 years of bloodshed since Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan; all what has prevailed is killing; murders, Executions; pathetic treatment to humans and humanity…..always had one or the other JUSTIFIABLE reasons for relentless killings all the time…….Still not tired. Killing and more killings; the country must be hounded by the souls of innocents and the deprived families. Does it matter whether a dying man is a Afghan or american…..a Muslim or a christian or a hindu……does the pain to his loved ones is less if he is a non muslim…..is only muslims the creation of God or Allah…..is allah so limited to muslims…..is allah so fragile that a mere burning of Qoran is an allowance from him to destroy his own creations……is he not watching all this madness runing around or it is his justice afterall to return to people what they deserve on account of their attitudes!!!! Unbelievable and unexpected from any religious man irrespective of to which faith he belongs……I wonder and am sure any sensible will give a thought to all this….Will You do so please……

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  • Straight Fire
    Feb 23, 2012 - 8:14PM

    @ahmed:

    Reaction is something that’s also justified by the basic principles of Physics … If you could change thing just by writing comments, then America would have already conquered the whole world with no resistance.

    But, the reverse is happening on the ground, so you should choose your side sooner than laterRecommend

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