S4C Press Office keep sending me press releases about Afghanistan situation.
The latest, a worrying one, is the following:
(DJ) – ALR
(Recasts to update with details of protests.)
KABUL (AFP)–Protests erupted outside the main U.S. military base in Afghanistan and in Kabul on Tuesday over allegations that foreign troops had set fire to copies of the Quran, police said.
Thousands of protesters besieged Bagram airbase, north of Kabul, throwing petrol bombs which set fire to a gate.
A local police official said more than 2,000 people were demonstrating outside the sprawling U.S.-run base.
“They are demonstrating over the burning of copies of the Quran inside the base,” the official said.
Sidiq Siddiqi, an interior ministry spokesman, confirmed the demonstration and said reinforcements had been sent to the area–about 60 kilometers north of the capital–to prevent possible violence.
The U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen, said he had ordered an investigation into a report that troops at Bagram “improperly disposed of a large number of Islamic religious materials which included Qurans.”
“I offer my sincere apologies for any offense this may have caused, to the president of Afghanistan, the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and most importantly, to the noble people of Afghanistan,” he said.
Another protest by about 500 people broke out in the Pul-e-charkhi district of Kabul not far from major North Atlantic Treaty Organization bases on the Jalalabad road, police spokesman Ashamat Estanakzai said.
“The police have the crowd in control, it is not violent,” he said.
Similar protests have in the past turned violent in Afghanistan, an extremely devout Islamic nation where an insult to the religion carries the death penalty.
About 10 people were killed and dozens of others were injured during days of unrest unleashed last April over the burning of a Quran by U.S. pastor Terry Jones in Florida.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
The reason is that I’ll soon start a short journey to Afghanistan to visit and see wht the USA-NATO forces are doing in view of the announced 2014 withdrawal.
It’s going to be an intense and unique experience and my aim is to spot at least traces of the future Afghanistan. The Country that will have to bear it alone and cope with a new life after 2014.
Signs are not entirerly encouraging so far. Security is still a major issue, as well as the percepetion of Afghan people about the “foreign” presence in their Country.
Covering an ongoing war is not pure S4C style, I know. But you know what they say: “If it bleeds, it Leads”. Only those strong and cruesome stories hit the headlines and the frontpages of mainstream medias.
Very little is known, and seen, of the rest.
I’m not saying I’ll do it right but I can honestly tell you I’ll try…
You can follow me either here (where I’ll try to publish from time to time and depending on Internet connections on the field) and on www.antonioamendola.com (in the blog section).
If you are Twitter guys, you can find me on @antonioamendola and the hashtag I plan to use is #caboolexpress
See you soon on the other side, guys,