KABUL – Hundreds of angry Afghan Muslims have taken to the streets to protest the NATO-led forces move to storm a mosque and desecrate copies of the Noble Qur’an in Saidabad district in Afghanistan’s central Wardak Province.
“The foreign forces first raided a house in Serak area of Shanez Dara and later stormed a nearby mosque, desecrating copies of holy Quran,” a protester told Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) on Tuesday, January 7.
Troubles started on Monday night, according to Afghan protesters, when members of the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) raided a mosque in southwestern Afghanistan and desecrated copies of the Noble Qur`an.
Angered by the move, residents poured into the streets on Tuesday, January 7, to decry the heinous act, demanding withdrawal of the foreign forces from the war-torn Afghanistan.
Chanting anti-US slogans, protesters have set fire to the American flag and posters of the US President Barack Obama.
Moreover, outraged residents blocked the Kabul-Kandahar highway which passes through Wardak Province, requesting the trial of the assailants.
Official information about the Qur'an and mosque's desecration hasn't been confirmed so far.
Yet, the spokesman for Wardak governor, Attullah Khugyani, has confirmed the mass protests across the province.
Afghanistan was invaded by the United States following the 9/11 attacks to topple the ruling Taliban regime which was accused of violating women rights.
Thirteen years on, Afghan officials and right activists say that the West's strategy has proved failure in putting the country on the "path of progress" as promised.
Amid turmoil, the Afghani government is facing a fierce opposition over signing the security deal which will secure the existence of US in Afghanistan, after the white house's promises of withdrawal by 2014.
The claimed desecration of the Muslims’ holy book was also vehemently decried by Taliban Afghanistan.
“The Islamic Emirate strongly condemn the handiwork of the infidels and their puppets," Taliban spokesman Zahiullah Mujahid said in a statement cited by AIP.
"And warn them that such acts would never terrify and stop the Muslim nation in general and the Islamic Emirate’s mujahideen in particular from the defense of their faith and country.”
Qur’an desecration has been an incendiary issue in Afghanistan over the past years.
In January 2012, eight Afghan demonstrators were killed and 13 others injured in protests after foreign troops reportedly desecrated the Qur’an during a raid.
In April 2011, similar protests turned violent in Afghanistan in April after a US pastor burned the Noble Qura’n in Florida.
Eleven people were killed when demonstrators stormed a UN compound in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, including seven foreign UN workers.
Another riot in the southern city of Kandahar left nine dead and more than 80 wounded.
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