Thousands of people mounted furious protests after dozens of Qurans were burned in Muslim-majority Bangladesh, leaving several officers injured, police said Monday. Police said they fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse a crowd of “at least 10,000 people” overnight from Sunday to Monday as they tried to attack the two men accused of destroying the holy books, police officer Ajbahar Ali Shaikh told AFP. Another police officer said at least 14 policemen were injured in the clashes, but did not have details of injuries among protesters. The two men were arrested in the northeastern city of Sylhet – one of the most conservative parts of Bangladesh – and said that they had burned the Qurans as they were “very old and some had printing mistakes”. Shaikh, naming the accused as school principal Nurur Rahman and Mahbub Alam, said police had “seized 45 copies of the burned Quran”. Some Muslim scholars say disposing of a Quran that is no longer usable is permissible if done respectfully. Last month tensions flared between Muslim countries and Sweden and Denmark following several protests involving public desecrations of the Quran — including setting pages alight. Both countries have condemned the desecrations but upheld their laws regarding “freedom of speech and assembly”. Bangladesh has a population of 170 million, 90 per cent of whom are Muslims, with the rest made up largely of Hindus and Christians.