WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama on Saturday condemned a US pastorâ€™s burning of the Quran, after violent protests at what he called an act of â€œextreme intolerance and bigotryâ€ left 17 dead in Afghanistan.
Ten people died amid fresh protests that began in the center of the main southern city of Kandahar and spread as police clashed with crowds on Saturday, a day after sevenUN staff were killed in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, the worst attack on the world body in the country since the 2001 invasion.
â€œThe desecration of any holy text, including the Quran, is an act of extreme intolerance and bigotry,â€ Obama said in a statement honoring those killed in the attacks.
â€œHowever, to attack and kill innocent people in response is outrageous, and an affront to human decency and dignity. No religion tolerates the slaughter and beheading of innocent people, and there is no justification for such a dishonorable and deplorable act.
â€œNow is a time to draw upon the common humanity that we share, and that was so exemplified by the UN workers who lost their lives trying to help the people of Afghanistan,â€ he added.