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Why Terry Jones Quran burning spurred two days of deadly Afghan protests

Protests over Terry Jones's Quran burning spread to the southern city of Kandahar Saturday. By contrast, there was little popular reaction to recent photos of US soldiers posing with the bodies of Afghans they had killed for sport.

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Protesters in Kandahar march with sticks during a demonstration condemning a Florida pastor's burning of the Quran. Violent protests over the burning have killed at least nine in southern Afghanistan.

Allauddin Khan/AP

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Protests in response to a US pastor burning the Koran spread across Afghanistan for a second day on Saturday, killing at least nine people and injuring more than 70 in the southern city of Kandahar. On Friday, a demonstration in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif turned violent when an angry mob stormed a United Nations compound killing seven members of the foreign staff and five Afghans.

The sustained unrest over Quran burning in Afghanistan stands in sharp contrast to the virtual shrugging off of another shocking incident involving US forces. A day after Terry Jones, the pastor of Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla., a church of about 30 congregants, burned the Quran on March 20, the German magazine Der Spiegel published photographs of US soldiers posing with dead Afghan civilians they’d killed for sport. Yet there was little, if any, popular reaction.

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