U.S. lawmakers said Sunday they would consider a request by Afghan President Hamid Karzai to formally condemn a Florida pastor's decision to burn the Koran, after the act triggered deadly riots in Afghanistan.

The protests entered their third day Sunday as demonstrators battled police in the southern city of Kandahar and, in the eastern city of Jalalabad, blocked a highway and burned an effigy of President Obama.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid repudiated pastor Terry Jones for touching off the chaos with what he called a "publicity stunt." Jones had earlier threatened to burn the Koran, but then shelved the plan until last month. The burning attracted little U.S. attention at the time but was used as a rallying cry in Afghanistan.

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