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One dead in Quran desecration protest in Mauritania

NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania - Thousands of people took to the streets, clashing with police in Mauritania's capital after news spread that a Quran had been desecrated at a local mosque. A medical official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press, says a 21-year-old man died after inhaling a large amount of tear gas.

 

The imam of a mosque, Mohamedoun Ould Mohamed Salem, said four unidentified men entered the mosque in the early hours of Monday, removed four copies of the holy book, and profaned them by throwing them in the mosque's toilet.

 

The police opened an investigation, but the news of the desecration spread quickly, and before noon Monday, protesters were burning tires and barricading streets. (AP)