At least five people have been killed and some 70 wounded after Afghan police opened fire to break up violent protests in Jalalabad sparked by a report that U.S. interrogators at Guantanamo prison desecrated the Koran.
Witnesses say angry mobs attacked government offices, the Pakistani consulate and the offices of two United Nations agencies, forcing foreign workers to flee. The U.N. said it was relocating all non-essential staff out of Jalalabad. Similar demonstrations were held in Lagman and Wardak provinces and Khost city, but the capital, Kabul, was quiet.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai told reporters during a visit to NATO headquarters in Brussels Wednesday, the incident in Jalalabad shows Afghan institutions are not yet ready to handle such protests.
The United States has condemned the alleged desecration of the Muslim holy book, which was reported by Newsweek magazine. The U.S. military says it is investigating the matter.