KABUL (AFP) Furious Afghans on Sunday torched an effigy of US President Barack Obama at a mass protest over allegations that Western troops fighting the Taliban had set fire to a copy of the Holy Quran. A crowd of around 1,000 demonstrators, mainly university students, marched through the streets of the capital Kabul before massing in front of the national parliament building. The demonstrators, almost all men, chanted: Death to America, death to Jews and Christians as they burned a model of Obama and a US flag, an AFP reporter at the scene said. The protest follows widely circulated claims that international troops - part of a 100,000-strong Western military deployment in Afghanistan - burned a copy of the holy book during an operation against Taliban rebels in the province of Wardak, south of Kabul, earlier this month. The claims have been rigorously denied by NATO and Afghan authorities. We have gathered here to express our disgust towards the American troops and their act of burning and insulting our holy book of Quran, Ihsanul-lah Hamikim, one of the demonstrators, told AFP. There had been similar demonstrations but on a smaller scale in the eastern city of Jalalabad and southern Kandahar earlier last week. A spokeswoman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said that the claims had been investigated and found to be groundless. The investigation determined that neither ISAF nor the Afghan national army had burned any Koran in Wardak province, the ISAF spokeswoman told AFP. Shahedullah Shahed, a spokesman for the Wardak govt, also dismissed the allegation, saying the false report of Holy Quran being insulted could be spread by Taliban insurgents to stir up resentment towards Western troops. It was some 11 days ago. When the news came to us we dispatched a delegation to investigate, said Shahed. While our investigation showed that a copy of Holy Quran was burnt, it was not foreign soldiers, but rather the work of some drug addicts, maybe paid by Taliban to spark resentment towards us and the foreign forces.