KABUL - Three people were shot dead by Afghan security forces on Saturday as protests over the burnings of the Muslim holy book at a NATO base raged for a fifth day, provincial officials and a Reuters witness said.

The burning of the Korans at the Bagram compound this week has deepened public mistrust of NATO forces struggling to stabilize Afghanistan before foreign combat troops withdraw by end-2014.

Despite an apology from US President Barack Obama and a call for restraint from Afghan leader Hamid Karzai, thousands took to the streets after 12 people were killed and dozens wounded on Friday, the bloodiest day yet in demonstrations.

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