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Koran-burning violence escalates


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Koran-burning violence escalates

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Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) — A large crowd swarmed a military base and numerous demonstrations turned deadly Friday in Afghanistan, the fourth day of fallout after NATO troops burned Korans at a military base, officials said.One of the protests took place just outside a U.S. consulate.The developments came a day after U.S. President Barack Obama apologized for the incident at Bagram Airfield this week, calling it an unintentional error.At least eight people were killed and 27 wounded in protests Friday, mostly in Herat province, officials said. The death toll includes six in Herat, one in Baghland and one in Nangahar, according to Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman for the Interior Ministry. Seven of the wounded were in Kabul, and they included three police officers, a spokesman for the Health Ministry said.The commander of ISAF and U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen, addressed the issue in a visit to troops at a military base where two U.S. soldiers were killed Thursday by a man wearing an Afghan National Army uniform. A protest over the burning of Korans was taking place outside the base at the time of the killings.”Now is not the time for vengeance,” he said. “Now is the time to look deep inside your souls, remember your mission, remember your discipline, remember who you are. We’ll come through this together as a unit.”He called on troops to “show the Afghan people that as bad as that act was at Bagram, it was unintentional, and Americans and ISAF soldiers do not stand for this. We stand for something greater than that.”Gen. Sher Mohammad Karimi, the Afghan National Army’s chief of staff, joined Allen on the trip and thanked the troops for their “sacrifices for humanity, not just the Afghan people.”NATO posted a video of the visit on its official YouTube channel, without naming the base.Hundreds of people attacked an ISAF base in Pul-i-Khumri in northern Baghlan province Friday, destroying a security fence and parts of the walls, according to an Afghan National Army official.Police interfered and started shooting into the air. One civilian was killed and 11 others were injured, the official said.ISAF had no immediate comment on that incident.The demonstrations in Herat province took place in several different locations. One was in Herat city near the U.S. consulate, said Mohayddin Noori, spokesman for Herat’s governor.A witness said demonstrators were setting vehicles on fire, including police cars.There were also protests in the Adraskan and Shindand districts, Noori said.A spokesman at a local hospital said a total of nine injured people were brought in.

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