Afghans Attack NATO Base in Quran Burning Protest

Afghans in a remote northern part of the country attempted to breach security Friday at a NATO base in an apparent demonstration against a Florida church's tentative plan to burn Qurans on Sept. 11, sparking a fight with local security that reportedly left as many as three people dead.

Brig. Gen. Hussain Safawy, the acting police chief of Badakhshan, told CBS News' Fazul Rahim that a peaceful protest march after Friday prayers at the local Mosque turned tense as the demonstrators reached the German-controlled base.

Safawy said protesters broke down the first perimeter gate surrounding the base and beat Afghan security guards and police on duty with sticks. The police fired warning shots in the air before allegedly receiving fire from the direction of the crowd.

Police officers then returned fire, Safawy said. Five protesters and two police were injured in the melee, but Safawy was unable to confirm media reports that as many as three protesters were killed in the gunfire.

He told Rahim that the German troops stationed at the base never became involved in the clashes, remaining at all times behind the outpost's interior perimeter.

CBS News correspondent Mandy Clark reports there were also protests against Gainesville Rev. Terry Jones' plan to burn the Qurans in Afghanistan's capital city. In north Kabul, the main road was blocked for a couple hours by a small demonstration which remained peaceful.

Meanwhile, appearing on CBS' "The Early Show" Friday, Rev. Jones said the planned bonfire was on hold, "right now."

More Quran Burning Coverage:

Minister: Quran Burning Might Not be Canceled
Rev. Jones Stands Down; Quran Burning Canceled
Koran Burning Plans Halted
Pastor Sparks Taliban Leaflets
Quran Burning Canceled by Fla. Pastor
Robert Gates Urged Terry Jones to Call Off Quran Burning
The Perils of Covering the Quran Burning
Taliban Calls on Afghans to Avenge Quran Burning
FBI Agents Visit Fla. Pastor over Quran Burning
Quran Burning Plan Prompts U.S. Travel Warning

  • Tucker Reals

    Tucker Reals is the CBSNews.com foreign editor, based at the CBS News London bureau.

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