Church determined to burn the Koran

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A Florida church is determined to go through with a plan to burn copies of the Koran on September 11.

Pastor Terry Jones said he has received a lot of encouragement for his protest, with supporters mailing copies of the Islamic holy text to his Gainesville church of about 50 followers.

The plan is to incinerate the Korans in a bonfire on Saturday to mark the ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. The 58-year-old minister proclaimed in July that he would stage "International Burn-a-Koran Day."

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the pastor's plans were outrageous and urged Jones to cancel the event.

She added: "It is regrettable that a pastor in Gainesville, Florida, with a church of no more than 50 people can make this outrageous and distressful, disgraceful plan and get the world's attention, but that's the world we live in right now.

"It doesn't in any way represent America, or Americans, or American government, or American religious or political leadership," she added.

General David Petraeus, the top US and NATO commander in Kabul, said that "images of the burning of a Quran would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan - and around the world - to inflame public opinion and incite violence."

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