A large crowd of protesters in Afghanistan rallied against U.S. forces, accusing the U.S.-NATO-led coalition of desecrating the Quran, according to media reports.
The crowd was protesting a rumored sacking of a mosque and subsequent desecration of the Quran by coalition forces, formally known as the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
ISAF denied the protesters’ allegations against its forces to Breitbart News, saying they were based on Taliban propaganda.
“The Taliban is propagating misinformation regarding an Afghan-led partnered operation in Wardak on 4 January. There is no basis in fact for the allegations,” U.S. Lt. Col. Will Griffin told Breitbart News. “While Afghan forces respectfully entered a mosque, coalition forces were not with them and were not near any religious materials during the operation.”
Local Afghan security officials said that on January 6, protesters in large crowds flocked into the streets of Wardak Province, located in eastern Afghanistan, “chanting anti-American slogans and torching American flags and effigies of US President Barack Obama,” stated PressTV.
Spanish-language wire service Agencia EFE reported that according to local authorities, approximately 400 people participated.
Lt. Col. Griffin said that the protesters were dispersed by the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).
According to PressTV, the crowds were also protesting the bilateral security deal between Kabul and Washington that will pave the way for U.S. military presence in Afghanistan after December 2014 when the U.S.-NATO combat mission is expected to end.
The White House has said that the U.S. will completely withdraw its forces from the country if Afghan President Hamid Karzai does not sign the deal in the upcoming “weeks.”
Starting on October 7, 2001, the Afghanistan conflict has become the longest war in U.S history.