Karzai calls for prosecution of American Qur’an burners

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has called for the prosecution of the US forces who perpetrated the recent desecration of the Holy Qur’an at an American military base in Afghanistan.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - “We strongly condemn the burning of the Holy Qur’an by the Americans and welcome the protests,” said Karzai at a Sunday press conference at the presidential palace in the Afghan capital city, Kabul.

He said a delegation of Afghan lawmakers and government officials has investigated the incident and called for prosecution of the perpetrators.

Karzai offered his condolences to the families of the victims of the recent unrest and urged his countrymen to avoid violence and acts that would benefit the enemies of Afghanistan.

The sacrilegious act by US forces sparked days of violent protests in Afghanistan, resulting in more than 30 deaths, including several US-led troops.

The public anger has prompted NATO to pull all its advisors out of Afghan government ministries.

Despite an apology from US President Barack Obama and a call for restraint by Karzai, anti-US demonstrations are continuing across Afghanistan over the Tuesday incident at the US military’s Bagram airbase, located 11 kilometers (7 miles) southeast of the city of Charikar in the northern province of Parwan.

The desecration of the Holy Qur’an underscores the insensitivity of the US-led forces about the cultural and religious values and rituals of Afghanistan, more than 10 years after they invaded the Asian nation to remove the Taliban from power.

Insecurity continues to rise across Afghanistan despite the presence of some 130,000 US-led forces in the war-torn country.

The United Nations announced on February 4 that 2011 was the deadliest on record for Afghan civilians. The death toll rose eight percent compared to the year before and was roughly double the figure for 2007.

Overall, 3,021 civilians died in violence related to the war and 4,507 were wounded in 2011. Of the deaths, the UN attributed 77 percent to militant attacks and 14 percent to US-led foreign troops and Afghan forces. Nine percent of the cases were classified as unknown.


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