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An Afghani cleric and police official in Kabul Friday defended the actions of a mob who beat and immolated a woman for allegedly burning a copy of the Qur’an, Islam’s central religious text.
The crowd in the Afghan capital was captured on video beating the 32-year-old woman to death with planks and stones as well jumping on her Thursday. A group of men then reportedly set her body ablaze and hurled it into a nearby river.
It has not yet been determined whether she actually burned a copy of the holy book.
The morning after the violence, a cleric at Wazir Akbar Khan Mosque in Kabul said during Friday prayers that the mob had a right to defend Islam.
“I am warning the government not to arrest those who did this, because it will mean an uprising,” the cleric said in a sermon broadcast on loudspeaker, according to Reuters.
His words came after authorities reportedly arrested at least four people involved in the incident, the BBC reported.
A Kabul police chief’s office spokesman also reportedly posted a Facebook comment after the incident, saying the woman had insulted the religion.