At least four people were shot dead Wednesday when dozens of Afghan villagers clashed with police over the desecration of the holy Quran. The clashes broke out in Musa Qala, a town troubled by insurgent violence in the southern province of Helmand.
Almanar “Four people have been killed and seven others, including two policemen, have been shot and injured in the clash,” said provincial spokesman Ahmad Zeerak. He noted that it was unclear whether police bullets caused the casualties and said officers had been forced to intervene after “Taliban fighters hiding among the protesters opened fire on police first”.
Helmand has been the scene of some of the worst fighting between NATO troops and the Taliban since the 2001 US-led invasion which ousted the militants from power nationally. In 2012 US troops set fire to copies of the holy Quran, sparking days of protests in which about 40 people died.