Afghans stone German base over proselytising allegations


Kunduz (Afghanistan) : At least four people were injured in northern Afghanistan Thursday when protesters threw stones at a German military camp over claims that two aid organisations had preached Christianity in the country.

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The Afghan government last week suspended a US-based Church World Service and Norwegian Church Aid after an Afghan private television reported that the two aid organizations were evangelising.

The charities denied the allegations, and have voiced concerns that the allegations could increase threats to their staff already prone at risk of Taliban attacks. The Afghan government officials have said that an investigation was ongoing.

Around 1,000 Islamic scholars, university and schools students and local residents marched in northern city of Takhar, the capital for the province of the same name, on Thursday, calling on the government to expel the organisations that allegedly proselytised.

The protesters shouted “Death to American, death to enemies of Islam” slogans, Abdul Baig, one of the protesters said.

The angry men also threw stones at a NATO-led Germany military base in the city, wounding one of its Afghan guards, Sher Ahmad, the provincial police chief said.

The guards fired on the crowd and wounded one of the protesters, while two others were injured when they were hit by stones thrown by other men taking part in the demonstration, he said.

But Baig said that all three protesters received bullet wounds.

Police forces intervened, dispersing the protesting and ending the four-hour-demonstration, the police chief said.

Capital Kabul and other major Afghan cities have witnessed such demonstrations in the past two weeks.

Protesters burned an effigy of Pope Benedict XVI during a demonstration in northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif Tuesday.