The New York imam leading efforts to build an Islamic centre near the World Trade Center site says plans by a small US church to burn Korans would have sparked "a disaster".

Feisal Abdul Rauf told ABC News that the event - now called off - would have "strengthened radicals".

Rallies for and against the proposed centre marred the 9/11 commemorations.

Meanwhile, two people died in eastern Afghanistan as protests sparked by the threatened book burning continued.

Read the complete original version of this item...