9 killed, 73 injured in Quran burning protest in south Afghan city

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At least nine people were killed and over 70 others injured as thousands of people staged a protest demonstration in Kandahar city Saturday to condemn the reported burning of Muslim holy book Quran in the United States recently, a statement released by Kandahar's provincial administration said.

"In today's demonstration which turned to violence nine people were killed and 73 others sustained injuries," the statement asserted.

The victims, according to doctors in local hospitals, had been hit by stone or suffered bullet injuries, as protestors hurled stone towards police and police opened fire to disperse the mob.

It also blamed the vested interests group, who set on fire public and private properties including shops and vehicles and turned the procession into violence.

Several classrooms of a girl school were also set ablaze by the vested interests group during the demonstration, the statement said.

A priest of a Church in Florida of America, according to media reports, burned Muslim holy book Quran recently and the act has drawn condemnation.

Personnel of law enforcing agencies have arrested 16 people from among the demonstrators seven of them armed with weapons, the statement of Kandahar's provincial administration asserted.

Similar demonstration also broke out in the Taliqan city, the capital of northeast Takhar province on Saturday and the demonstrators after condemning the reported burning of Quran dispersed peacefully.

Such demonstrations in the capital city Kabul and western city Herat have happened and the demonstrators condemned burning Quran by U.S. priest.

Thousands of protestors in a similar demonstration held in Afghanistan's northern Mazar-e-Sharif city on Friday went violence and stormed UN compound, during which 11 people had been killed 23 others were injured.

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