KABUL — For the third straight day, Afghans took to the streets Sunday to protest the burning of a Koran in Florida. The demonstrations were mostly peaceful, a marked contrast to the first two days of violence, which left at least 20 people dead.
Hundreds of people blocked the main highway in Jalalabad, an important city in eastern
Afghanistan. Demonstrators burned an effigy of President Obama and chanted anti-American slogans.
Among the protesters were many students from a local university who called for the prosecution of the Rev. Terry Jones, according to Ahmad Abdulzai, a spokesman for the provincial governor.
On March 20, Jones, pastor of a tiny Florida church, declared Islam’s holy book “guilty” of “crimes against humanity” and ordered it set ablaze in a portable fire pit.
Sunday’s demonstration in Jalalabad ended peacefully, as did another one in Parwan province, the home of Bagram air base, a large NATO military complex north of Kabul. There, protesters burned tires and blocked a highway. A second day of demonstrations Saturday in Kandahar, however, was more volatile, as protesters at a downtown mosque clashed with police. Twenty people were injured, the Associated Press reported.