4 killed in Afghan anti-US protests

2012-02-24 17:16

Kabul - Four people were killed on Friday when anti-US protests turned violent in the western province of Herat, bringing the overall death toll during four days of demonstrations to at least 19, officials said.

Two died as demonstrators surged towards the US consulate in Herat city while two more were killed in Adraskan district, provincial spokesperson Moheedin Noori said.

"In Herat city we have one civilian protester and one military person killed," he said.

A security official earlier said two demonstrators had been killed in a bid to storm the US consulate.

"Some demonstrators tried to grab the cops' guns - there was shooting and two of the demonstrators were killed," he said on condition of anonymity.

A spokesperson for the US embassy in Kabul said they were "aware that there are demonstrations in the vicinity of the consulate".

Friday's deaths bring to at least 19 the number of people killed during four days of violent anti-US protests over the burning of Qur'ans at the US airbase of Bagram, north of the capital.

In Kabul, security forces fired into the air to stop hundreds marching towards Nato headquarters, and at least one demonstrator was wounded as crowds shouted "death to America".