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RoP Riots Over Newsweek Article

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A Newsweek magazine report of alleged “desecration of the Quran” at Guantanamo Bay provoked a mob of Islamic extremists into rioting today in Kabul: Afghan Protest Over Quran Turns Deadly.

KABUL, Afghanistan - Shouting “Death to America,” demonstrators angry over the alleged desecration of the Quran at Guantanamo Bay smashed car and shop windows and stoned a passing convoy of U.S. soldiers Wednesday in eastern Afghanistan. Police opened fire on the protesters, killing four and injuring at least 71. …

Mobs also attacked the Pakistani consulate along with the offices of two U.N. agencies and a Swedish relief organization. No foreigners were reported hurt and witnesses said police and government troops had restored order by early afternoon.

“There is a lot of damage to the city, they have burned a lot of things,” Shah said. “These are the enemies of peace and stability in Afghanistan who don’t want people to be able to get on with their lives in peace.” …

Demonstrations began Tuesday, when protesters burned an effigy of President Bush over a report in Newsweek magazine that interrogators at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, placed Qurans on toilets to rattle suspects, and in at least one case “flushed a holy book down the toilet.”

At the Pentagon, spokesman Bryan Whitman said Wednesday that the allegation will be investigated. “This is a serious allegation and it’s gong to be looked into,” Whitman said. “We have a great consideration with respect to the detainees we’re holding and their religious practices.”

U.S. Charge d’Affaires Richard Christenson said the embassy was “deeply concerned” at the violence and said “disrespect toward the holy book of any religion is unacceptable.”

UPDATE at 5/11/05 10:47:17 am:

Roger L. Simon points out that the Newsweek report that triggered these deadly riots was based on an anonymous source.

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