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Afghans protest 'sacrilege'.

KANDAHAR: A group of Afghans protested yesterday against what they called the desecration of the Quran by British forces, the district governor said, although he and a British spokesman denied any desecration took place.

Numerous people describing themselves as demonstrators and residents also telephoned a reporter in the southern city of Kandahar to say some 600 people took part in the protest in Girishk district of neighbouring Helmand province.

Abdul Manaf, Girishk's district governor, said 150 people had demonstrated in the town, but that there had been no desecration of the holy book and Taliban fighters had spread false rumours to provoke a protest.

A protester who introduced himself as Ghulam Mohammad said British soldiers knocked copies of the holy book out of the hands of villagers.

"The villagers told them that there were no Taliban hiding in the villages and swore by copies of the Quran they had in their hands," he said by telephone. "The British soldiers threw away the Quran and began searching the houses."

Chanting slogans against the Afghan government and foreign troops, another said the protests will continue unless the culprits are punished.

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:May 1, 2008
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