Four people are reported dead and dozens more wounded after clashes between protestors and police in Afghanistan. The trouble started when people began demonstrating in the conservative Muslim city of Jalalabad, angry about accusations in the media that US interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay prison had desecrated the Koran. Witnesses say government offices were set on fire, shops looted and UN buildings and diplomatic missions attacked.
Police chiefs insist that officers had no choice but to open fire on the demonstrators “because they were destroying the city”. It is understood that US troops stationed in Jalalabad had been confined to their base during the protest. During a visit to Brussels, Afghan president Hamid Karzai said the violence showed his country was not yet ready to handle such an incident. He stressed the importance of continued international assistance for Afghanistan’s political institutions.