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Protesters vandalize a police truck during an anti-U.S. demonstration over the burning of Korans at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Hoshang Hashimi / Associated Press

Afghan security officials fire over the heads of a protesters as unrest sparked by the burning of Muslim holy books by U.S. soldiers continued.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: S SABAWOON / EPA

Afghan protesters run down a street shouting anti-U.S. slogans.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: SHAH MARAI / AFP

Injured Afghans are carried from the scene of the protests.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: S SABAWOON / EPA

A riot police officer carries a U.S. flag taken from protesters as security forces advance.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: S SABAWOON / EPA

Protesters clash with riot police Wednesday.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: S. SABAWOON / EPA

Foreign security forces stand outside a fortified building believed to be a NATO military outpost after a protest against the burning of copies of the Korans by U.S. troops was cleared from the area.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: S. SABAWOON / EPA

Afghans burn an effigy of President Obama during an anti-U.S. protest over the burning of Muslim holy books.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: NOORULLAH SHIRZADA / AFP / Getty Images

Protestors scatter as smoke rises from a burning truck during the second day of anti-U.S. demonstrations at a NATO military base over what the U.S. has said was the inadvertent burning of Muslim holy books. At least seven people have been killed in the violence.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rahmat Gul / Associated Press

Afghans throw stones toward a U.S. airbase during a protest against the alleged 'Koran burning' by U.S. troops, in Bagram, about 40 miles north of Kabul, Afghanistan on Tuesday. Thousands of Afghans took to the streets in Bagram to protest the 'burning of the Koran' by NATO-led troops, officials said.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: S. Sabawoon / EPA

An Afghan man aims a slingshot toward U.S. soldiers at the gate of Bagram airbase during a protest against Koran desecration. Afghan protesters firing slingshots and petrol bombs besieged one of the largest U.S.-run military bases in Afghanistan, furious over reports that NATO had set fire to copies of the Koran.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Shah Marai / AFP

A U.S. soldier wields an assault rifle while standing at the gate of Bagram airbase during a protest against Koran desecration.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Massoud Hossaini / AFP

Afghans throw stones toward a U.S. airbase during a protest against the alleged 'Koran burning.' 'Protest is ongoing right now in front of Bagram airport gate and nearly 3,000 people are protesting right now,' said Roshana Khalid, a spokeswoman for Parwan provincial government.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: S. Sabawoon / EPA

U.S. soldiers, background, stand along the perimeter gate of Bagram airbase during a protest against Koran desecration.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Massoud Hossaini / AFP

Afghan youth take cover from rubbers bullets shot by U.S. soldiers at the gates of Bagram airbase during a protest against Koran desecration Tuesday.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Shah Marai / AFP

Afghan demonstrators shout anti-U.S. slogans at the gate of Bagram airbase.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Shah Marai / Agence France-Presse

An Afghan demonstrator holds a copy of a burned Koran, allegedly set on fire by U.S. soldiers, at the gate of Bagram airbase during a protest. The copies of the burnt Korans and Islamic religious texts were obtained by Afghan workers contracted to work inside Bagram airbase, and presented to demonstrators gathered outside the military installation.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Massoud Hossaini / Agence France-Presse

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Afghans protest burning of Korans at Bagram airbase

[Updated at 8:45 a.m. Feb 23: Man in Afghan army uniform kills two American soldiers]

Afghan laborers at a U.S.-run base discovered copies of the Koran being burned before dawn Tuesday morning, spurring a protest reportedly involving as many as 1,000 people — and an unusually contrite statement from the base’s commanding general. The Bagram district police chief said the workers brought the Muslim holy books outside and “this provoked the local people‘s emotions.”

Gen. John Allen, the U.S. Marine who commands Western forces in Afghanistan, in his statement addressed the “noble people of Afghanistan.”

When officials learned that “a large number of Islamic religious materials” had been improperly disposed of, “we immediately intervened and stopped them,” he said.

Allen said recovered materials would be turned over to religious authorities. He also vowed that the incident would be fully investigated.

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