Nightly News | April 03, 2011
>>> anti-american violence spread in afghanistan today, unraveling years of work to build confidence in the american mission among the afghan people . nbc's peter alexander with the latest on that.
>> reporter: across afghanistan , a third day of rage. these violent protests now blamed for at least 24 deaths, have reached virtually every major afghan city. in the east, in jalalabad, young men rampaged through the streets, torching a cross and an effigy of president obama . the demonstrations were fueled by the recent burning of the koran by radical pastor terry jones at a fundamentalist church in florida, the same man who sparked worldwide outrage for threatening to burn islam's holy book last september. the burning upset the whole muslim world this man said, we condemn this act. in kabul tonight, the united nations ' top diplomat received seven coffins, each draped with a u.n. flag. the victims, all foreign workers , killed friday when a mob stormed their compound. trying to defuse tensions in a statement president obama called the u.n. attack an affront to human decency and condemned the koran burning as an act of extreme intolerance and bigotry. general david petraeus who heads up the war in afghanistan criticized the burning as well.
>> that action was hateful. it was intolerant. and it was extremely disrespectful.
>> reporter: military analysts warn these recent events damage american efforts to win the support of the afghan people .
>> these deadly riots demonstrate, if nothing else that even with all the success we've had in lots of places in afghanistan , just one incident 8 8,000 miles away in the united states can prove how fragile these gains really are.
>> reporter: a mission still at risk nearly ten years into america's longest war peter alexander , nbc news.