One day after a dozen people were killed in Mazar-i-Sharif in Afghanistan in a protest related to the burning of a Quran by a U.S. pastor, eight more people died in Kandahar in a similar protest.
Thousands of people gathered in streets of Kandahar on Saturday – some attacked the police and set fire to shops ablaze.
About 70 people were injured in the disturbances.
BBC reported that the angry crown in Kandahar chanted They have insulted our Koran and Death to America.”.
A spokesman for the governor of Kandahar province said the protest was called by the Taliban who used the burning of the Islamic holy book in Florida as an excuse to cause mayhem.
The demonstration in Kandahar was planned by insurgents to take advantage of the situation and to create insecurity, said Zalmay Ayoubi .
On Friday, protesters attacked a UN compound in Mazar, setting it ablaze and killing UN staff. Some reports claim one security guard was beheaded.
Wayne Sapp. the evangelical pastor in Florida who burned a Quran on March, called the deaths in Mazar-i-Sharif tragic, but did not regret his actions.
I in no way feel like our church is responsible for what happened, he said.
The Taliban said they were not involved with Friday's assault on the UN office, despite accusations to the contrary by the provincial governor and the UN itself.
The Taliban had nothing to do with this, it was a pure act of responsible Muslims, spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Reuters.
The foreigners brought the wrath of the Afghans on themselves by burning the Quran.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai conveyed his sorrow over Friday’s deadly violence to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
BBC said that 27 people had been arrested following the Mazar-e Sharif massacre.
Karzai called the attack as ruthless and vowed his government will find and punish the perpetrators.
The Taliban did claim responsibility of an attack on a coalition base in Kabul with guns and rocket-propelled grenades.
An Al Jazeera reporter stated: They [Taliban] are saying the Americans, the Europeans and the United Nations have to take a very tough stance when it comes to the desecration of Islamic symbols and they haven't seen that, they haven't seen any statement issued by the UN or the American forces in Afghanistan, he said.
This is why they're trying to converge in the main cities, in particular in areas where there are military bases and UN offices, to send a very strong signal that they are really angry about what's going on.
UN staff-members remain on maximum security alert and under lockdown, but there are no plans yet to evacuate them.
Kieran Dwyer, director of communications for the UN mission in Afghanistan, said: The UN is here to stay. We're here to work with the people to help them achieve peace, and this sort of thing just highlights how important that is.