(CNSNews.com) – Six days after violent protests erupted in Afghanistan over the unintentional burning of Qur’ans at a U.S. military base, and with more than 30 deaths reported, the world’s top Islamic body Sunday appealed for calm.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) said in a statement attributed to its Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu that “the violence and bloodshed was hurting the people of Afghanistan and causing loss of innocent lives.”
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An earlier statement by Ihsanoglu, issued last Wednesday, condemned the Quran incident and urged “swift and appropriate disciplinary action against those responsible” – but said nothing about the violence, even though by that stage protests had already turned violent and at least seven had been killed.
More than 30 people, including four Americans, have been killed during rioting since news broke about the damage to the Qur’ans. Two U.S. soldiers were shot dead by an Afghan soldier during a protest on Thursday, and on Saturday two more – a lieutenant colonel and a major – were killed in their office at the Interior Ministry, shot in the back of the head.
U.S. government and military officials from President Obama down have issued repeated apologies for the Qur’an burning at the Bagram base – apologies that have drawn criticism from Republican presidential candidates Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney.
Read More at CNS News By Patrick Goodenough, CNS News