The Iranians seized on reports of Koran burnings near Ground Zero and elsewhere in the U.S. to fan deadly riots Monday in mostly-Muslim Kashmir.
Indian forces killed more than a dozen people and wounded scores more rampaging rioters, who chanted “Down with Koran desecrators” as they attacked a Christian school in one town and government buildings in other cities.
They also chanted “Down with America” and “Down with Israel,” cries rarely heard in Kashmir where Muslim rebels have long waged a bloody rebellion against Indian rule.
U.S. Ambassador Timothy Roemer appealed for calm and condemned Koran-burning as “disrespectful, intolerant, divisive and unrepresentative of American values.”
“The deliberate destruction of any holy book is an abhorrent act,” he said.
Kashmiri officials also removed a state-run Iranian station from local cable networks that had been fanning the anger by repeatedly broadcasting reports of Koran burnings in the U.S., said Kuldeep Khoda, who heads the state police.
Khoda said they were expecting demonstrations once the Muslim holiday of Ramadan ended but were surprised by the size and anger of Monday’s protests.
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