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Protests in Pakistan over Quran burning at US base

Rizwan Tabassum / AFP - Getty Images

Pakistani Muslims set fire to a US flag during a protest over the recent burning of Korans in Afghanistan, in Karachi on March 2. The United Nations said March 1 the perpetrators of the Koran burning in Afghanistan should be punished, but insisted ties between the international community and the Afghan people would emerge stronger. The burning sparked widespread protests, leaving 30 people dead and over 200 wounded.

Parwiz / Reuters

Angry afghans attacked U.S. bases after reports of Quran desecration.

Senior Afghan clerics said on Friday a U.S. apology for the burning of copies of the Muslim holy book at a NATO base last month would never be accepted, and demanded a trial and punishment for those who committed the "evil act."

"Those who committed this crime must be publicly tried and punished," members of a senior council of clerics said after meeting President Hamid Karzai, according to a statement issued by his office.

"The council strongly condemns this crime and inhumane, savage act by American troops by desecrating holy books of the Quran."

Despite an apology from President Barack Obama, the desecration of the Quran at the U.S. Bagram airbase, which is being used by both U.S. and foreign forces under the NATO banner, ignited a wave of anti-Western fury across the country. Muslims consider the Koran the literal word of God and treat each book with deep reverence.

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-- msnbc.com news services


Rizwan Tabassum / AFP - Getty Images

Activists of Pakistani political and Islamic party Jammat-e-Islami, hold up Korans and placards during an anti-US protest over the recent burning of Korans in Afghanistan, in Karachi on March 2. Two US soldiers were killed by Afghan colleagues on March 1, the latest in a series of such attacks after the burning of Korans at a US base sparked widespread violent protests. In Afghanistan 40 people have been killed in six days of violent demonstrations as protesters targeted Western bases, plunging relations between US-led Western forces and their Afghan allies to an all time low.