4 Apr 2011

Karzai wants US Congress to prevent burnings of Koran

9:27 am on 4 April 2011

President Hamid Karzai of Afghanisation has called for the United States Congress to condemn the burning of a Koran by a fundamentalist pastor and prevent it from happening again.

The BBC reports the request was made at a meeting with the General David Petraeus, the commander of international forces in Afghanistan.

Hundreds of demonstrators marched in Kandahar, Jalalabad and other areas on Sunday.

ʚOn Friday, 14 people, including seven UN personnel, were killed in the northern city of Mazar-e Sharif after similar protests.

The UN's chief envoy to Afghanistan, Staffan de Mistura, blamed Friday's killings in Mazar-e Sharif on a burning of the Koran in Florida on 20 March.

Pastor Wayne Sapp soaked a Koran in kerosene, staged a "trial" during which the Islamic holy book was found guilty of "crimes against humanity", and then set it alight.

The incident took place under the supervision of Pastor Terry Jones, who last year drew condemnation over a plan to burn copies of the Koran on the anniversary of the 11 September 2001 attacks on the United States.

News of the event was announced in Afghanistan by President Karzai in a statement on Thursday.