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NATO's 'improper disposal' of Qurans inflames Afghan protesters (+video)

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Mohammad Ismail/Reuters

(Read caption) Afghan men gather as some of them throw rocks towards the US military base during a protest in Bagram, north of Kabul Tuesday, Feb. 21. More than 1,000 Afghans protested outside the main US military base in Afghanistan on Tuesday over a report that NATO troops had improperly disposed of some Qurans.

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America's hopes of winning the hearts and minds of the Afghan people have suffered yet another blow.

Plans by NATO personnel to burn Qurans at Bagram Air Base north of Kabul have set off violent protests, with at least 1,000 demonstrators throwing stones and calling for US and NATO forces to leave Afghanistan.

That burning Qurans might anger Afghans has been made pretty clear before: In 2010 a US evangelical pastor, Rev. Terry Jones, threatened to burn Qurans outside his Florida church, and a year later, when followers of that US pastor actually carried out the threat. Eleven United Nations personnel were massacred in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e Sharif in April 2011, after protestors broke into their compound, apparently seeking revenge for the Reverend Jones’s actions. A separate protest in the southern city of Kandahar at the time left nine people dead and dozens injured.

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