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Afghans besiege US base in protest over Quran burning

Shah Marai / AFP - Getty Images

A man aims a slingshot toward U.S. soldiers at the gate of Bagram airbase during a protest against Quran desecration on Feb. 21, 2012 north of Kabul, Afghanistan. Protesters besieged the base and guards responded by firing rubber bullets from a watchtower, an AFP photographer said as the crowd shouted "Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar" (God is great).

Massoud Hossaini / AFP - Getty Images

A U.S. soldier wields his assault rifle as another soldier handles a shotgun while standing at the gate of Bagram airbase during a protest on Feb. 21, 2012.

Msnbc.com and news services report — Afghan demonstrators used slingshots and fired guns in the air while U.S. helicopters responded with flares, after thousands of angry people gathered Tuesday to protest the alleged burning of copies of the Quran at the main U.S. military base in Afghanistan

The demonstrators — shouting "Die, die, foreigners!" — started gathering in the morning after learning of the incident. 

The top NATO general in Afghanistan, General John Allen, ordered an investigation, offered "sincere apologies" and said any improper handling of the Quran was "NOT intentional" in a written statement. Read the full story.

Shah Marai / AFP - Getty Images

Youths take cover from rubber bullets shot by U.S. soldiers at the gates of Bagram airbase on Feb. 21, 2012.

Shah Marai / AFP - Getty Images

Demonstrators show copies of the Quran allegedly set alight by U.S. soldiers.

Shah Marai / AFP - Getty Images

A boy watches as a young man aims an airgun at U.S. soldiers at the gate of Bagram airbase on Feb. 21, 2012.

Musadeq Sadeq / AP

A protester gestures towards a U.S. soldier in front of the Bagram base on Feb. 21, 2012.