Dove World Outreach Center pastor Terry Jones on Saturday burned copies of the Quran and an image depicting Muhammad in front of his church to protest the imprisonment in Iran of a Christian clergyman.

Moments later, Gainesville Fire Rescue issued the church a citation for violating the city’s fire ordinances.

Saturday’s act of protest took place in spite of published reports that the Pentagon had urged Jones to reconsider, expressing concern that American soldiers in Afghanistan and elsewhere could be put at greater risk because of the act.

About 20 people gathered Saturday on church property at 5805 NW 37th Street about 5 p.m. for the planned burning. Several Gainesville police officers were stationed across the street from the church or were patrolling the area. A few people watched the scene, but there were no protesters.

Jones and another pastor demanded the release of the Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from an Iranian prison. Jones said Nadarkhani faces execution.

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