Gen. Petraeus Blasts 'Hateful' Koran Burning
Florida church action triggers third day of violence in Afghanistan
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Apr 4, 2011 1:21 AM CDT
Afghan protesters stomp on a hand-made US. flag in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – An angry Gen. David Petraeus yesterday condemned a Florida church's burning of the Koran as "hateful, intolerant and extremely disrespectful." The head of the allied forces in Afghanistan and other officials spoke out as clashes again broke out between Afghan security forces and protesters over the burning of the Muslim holy book. Some 20 people have been killed and several wounded in days of protests over the church action. Controversial evangelical minister Terry Jones announced the burning of the Koran in his Gainesville church late last month.

"The event is over; the Koran was found guilty and a copy was burning inside the building," his church's web site announced. Days later seven United Nations workers were killed when angry protesters stormed a UN compound in Mazar-e Sharif. Jones called the assault a "very tragic and criminal action." President Obama has condemned both the killings and the Koran burning. "The desecration of any holy text is an act of extreme intolerance and bigotry," he said in a weekend statement. "However, to attack and kill innocent people in response is outrageous, and an affront to human decency and dignity."