Afghan Violence Spreads Over Terry Jones' Quran Burning

At least nine are dead following protests in kandahar

ByABC News
April 2, 2011, 11:52 AM

April 2, 2011— -- Violent protests in Afghanistan flared for a second day today, enflamed by outrage over the burning of a Quran by Florida pastor Terry Jones.

Nine protesters were killed today in Kandahar, where hundreds marched holding copies of the Quran when security forces shot into the air to disperse the crowd.

Zalmai Ayubi, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said it is unclear how the protestors were killed.

"Some wicked and destructive people placed themselves amongst the protesters and started rioting throughout the entire Kandahar city. The enemies of the people and country also burned down the furniture and a bus at a ladies' high school in Kandahar and destroyed some other properties," said a statement from the governor's office, according to The Associated Press.

Anger over Terry Jones' burning of the Quran began on Friday in the town of Mazar-i-Sharif, when 11 people were killed -- including seven United Nations workers -- at a United Nations compound.

Jones oversaw the burning of a Quran last month and said he did not feel responsible for the protests.

"We wanted to raise awareness of this dangerous religion and dangerous element," Jones said. "I think [today's attack] proves that there is a radical element of Islam."

"We decided to put the Quran on trail," he told ABC News. "I was the judge but I did not determine the verdict. I was just a type of referee so that people got their time to defend or condemn the Quran."

Jones said that a "jury" of people from all over Florida debated the radicalism of Islam, and the "Quran was found guilty."

"If the Quran was found guilty then there were four forms of punishment: burning, shredding, grounding, a firing squad," he said. "The one that the people chose was burning. That is why the Quran was burned after it was found guilty."