Eighteen civilians were killed and 80 others wounded across Kashmir in a day of escalated violence intensified by anger over the desecration of the Holy Qur’an in US. A police officer was also killed during protests in Budgam after he was hit by a vehicle that then sped away.
The day also saw gutting of two Christian missionary schools, several government buildings and two police vehicles by the irate mobs.
Highly charged mobs took to the streets early morning on Monday defying a round-the-clock curfew to stage massive pro-freedom and anti-US protests leading to fierce daylong clashes with Indian security forces.
People were inflamed after the Iranian state-run channel Press TV broadcast images of a small group of Christians ripping a copy of the Holy Book in Washington. Authorities quickly banned Press TV.
The protesters chanted “Down with Qur’an desecrators,” and protest leaders denounced the desecration in speeches to the crowds. There were also shouts of “Down with America” and “Down with Israel” -- rarely heard in Kashmir, where anger is normally only directed at India.
From the BBC:
The latest violence was partially caused by last week's plan by a Florida church to burn copies of the Koran during the 9/11 anniversary caused outrage across the Muslim world; it was eventually called off.
Let's just hope they don't hear about the Australian smoker.