Police were called in when thousands of rioters, chanting ‘Down with Qur’an desecrators’ and ‘Down with America’, attacked a Christian school in one town and buildings in other cities.
UK DAILY MAIL Indian forces killed 18 people and injured scores of others in the bloodiest day of violence in the troubled area of Kashmir. Kashmiris defied curfews in the Indian-controlled region and took to the streets, chanting anti-India and anti-US slogans and burning effigies of US President Barack Obama.
An angry mob set fire to several government buildings and a Protestant-run school, as well as attacking a police station. After several attempts to repel the mob failed, Indian police fired live ammunition into the crowd – and confirmed that 18 civilians had been killed.
Many of the deaths were reported to have occurred in Budgam district, with others reported in the village of Tangmarg, where the school was burned. One of those killed was allegedly a student aged 12. More than 100 people have been reported wounded, some critically.
Kashmiri officials also removed a state-run Iranian station from local cable networks that had been fanning the anger by repeatedly broadcasting reports of Koran burnings in the U.S.
Most broadcasters have given scant coverage to the still-unidentified man who was hustled away from an anti-Muslim protest in New York after he tore and burned pages from a Koran. Other such burnings, conducted in America on 9/11 or posted on the internet shortly after, have also been ignored.
They were inspired by Florida pastor Terry Jones, who had planned to hold a ‘Burn A Koran’ day on September 11. He cancelled the event after international pressure but it has not stopped rioting and deaths in Muslim countries around the world.
On a third day of riots in Afghanistan, Muslims said they would attack ‘foreign bases’ in their thousands in response to the desecration of their holy book.
Hopes of calm were shattered on Saturday when the Koran was burned in the U.S. on the ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Though Florida preacher Terry Jones had cancelled his plan to burn the Islamic holy book, a lone protester at the Ground Zero site set several pages on fire, while in Nashville, Tennessee, two religious leaders held a private Koran-burning ceremony.
The unnamed male protester at Ground Zero said: ‘If they can burn American flags, I can burn the Koran. Americans should never be afraid to give their opinion.’ Footage of the New York burning has been posted on the internet and could be exploited by extremists aiming to stir anti-Western feeling.
In addition to the incident at Ground Zero, the Reverends Bob Old and Danny Allen in Nashville burned the Koran in private to defend the United States constitution and the American people, they said. Both denied their actions were related to the 9/11 anniversary or the row about plans to build a Mosque near Ground Zero.
In Washington, a small group of conservative Christians tore up pages from the Koran to denounce the ‘charade of Islam’.
Elsewhere there were signs of rising anti-Western feeling as Christian worshippers in the Indonesian capital Jakarta were beaten up and stabbed by suspected Islamic hardliners.The warning of retaliation came during riots in the eastern Afghan province of Logar yesterday during which men chanted ‘Death to Christians’.