Violent protests in Afghanistan

27/02/2012

Last week’s Koran burning at the NATO base in Afghanistan has triggered a wave of violent protests against Western forces all over the country. The violence culminated in the shooting of two US troops at the Ministry of Interior in Kabul on Saturday and a suicide bomb attack on Jalalabad military airport in eastern Afghanistan, earlier today. The Taliban claimed responsibility for this incident, which wounded 12 Afghan soldiers and civilians. The explosion did not affect NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) forces.

Reacting to the wave of violence, NATO and Western governments discussed consequences over the weekend. NATO, the United Kingdom and Germany began to withdraw their seconded staff from Afghan national ministries. US authorities, however, tried to calm the situation and urged the international community to stand firm in the face of ongoing violence. “Tensions are running very high here. I think we need to let things calm down, return to a more normal atmosphere, and then get on with business,” said US Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker. “This is not the time to decide that we are done here. We have got to redouble our efforts. We've got to create a situation that al Qaeda is not coming back.” The protests have in total killed 30 people and wounded at least 200.

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