Protest over Koran shooting

Herat, May 22:

Afghans protesting the shooting of the Koran by a US soldier in Iraq attempted to storm a NATO base and UN offices in a small town in central Afghanistan today, police said.

About 300 police prevented the angry mob from entering the NATO base manned by Lithuanian troops in Chaghcharan, local police chief Shah Jihan Noori said.

About 2,000 people had earlier poured onto the streets to protest the March incident, in which a US soldier riddled the Muslim holy book with bullets during target practice.

The demonstration later turned violent, Noori said, claiming protesters were incited by

“Taliban elements.” “A large number of people tried to attack the Lithuanian base, the UN office and governmental buildings,” the police chief said. The men, chanting anti-US slogans, had hurled rocks at security forces and tried to enter the gates of the base, he said.