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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/25/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Obama tells Karzai that incident was 'inadvertent'

U.S. President Barack Obama has apologized to Afghan President Hamid Karzai for the burning of Qurans by NATO troops. Obama called the act "inadvertent" and "an error." In a letter, which was delivered by U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker, Obama said that "We will take the appropriate steps to avoid any recurrence, including holding accountable those responsible."

U.S. President Barack Obama has apologized to Afghan President Hamid Karzai for the burning of Qurans by NATO troops. Obama called the act 'inadvertent' and 'an error.'

U.S. President Barack Obama has apologized to Afghan President Hamid Karzai for the burning of Qurans by NATO troops. Obama called the act "inadvertent" and "an error."

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/25/2012 (3 years ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Quran, burnng, Afghanistan, apology, demonstrations


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Afghanistan has erupted in violent demonstrations since the troops' burning of the religious material this week. Two American troops were killed by a man wearing an Afghan National Army uniform, a U.S. official said, asking not to be named discussing casualties.

The gunman is thought to have been working alongside a protest taking place outside the base, the official said.

The recent violence came as the Taliban called on Muslims to attack NATO military bases and convoys and kill its soldiers after the discovery that NATO troops had incinerated the religious material at Bagram Airfield.

Afghan officials urged Afghans to "exercise self-restraint" and "avoid resorting to protests and demonstrations that may provide ground for the enemy to take advantage of the situation."

Investigators called the burning of religious material "insulting and shameful," saying NATO officials had promised to bring the "perpetrators of the crime ... to justice as soon as possible."

The Quran is considered the word of God to those who follow Islam. The book is considered so holy that people are instructed to wash their hands before even touching the sacred book. Desecrating the Quran is viewed as an affront, an act of intolerance and bigotry.

At least two demonstrators were killed in the exchange of gunfire near the base where the two Americans died, Haji Mohammad Hassan, chief of Khugyani district in eastern Nangarhar province says. Two U.S. soldiers and seven demonstrators were injured in the clash.

"We don't know who started the shooting first and what kind of guns were used, but we have started our investigation to find out the details of the incident," Hassan told television journalists. Hassan also said there were 200 to 300 demonstrators but the protest was now under control.

There was also a larger demonstration near a Norwegian-run Provincial Reconstruction Team compound in Maimana, the provincial capital of Faryab province, a regional police spokesman said.

Afghan security forces prevented the 700 to 800 demonstrators from getting into the compound.

U.S. Embassy spokesman Mark Thornburg says that American diplomats in Kabul and the north and south of Afghanistan are on lockdown for a second day in the face of protests.

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