Two American soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan as violence surges over the accidental burning of Korans.
Few details of the shooting have been released, but the New York Daily News reports the gunman was wearing an Afghan army uniform.
Violence broke out in Kabul on Tuesday and spread to the rest of the nation the following day after it was revealed that Korans and other religious items were among the trash that was burned at a NATO base. Officials say it was an accident and when they realized what was being burned, they stopped.
President Obama on Thursday apologized to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, saying in a letter that “the error was inadvertent; I assure you that we will take the appropriate steps to avoid any recurrence, to include holding accountable those responsible.”
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At first the Taliban, which is in the middle of peace talks with the U.S., condemned the incident but stopped short of calling for violence. But The Washington Post reports that on Thursday the Taliban strengthened its response, issuing a statement calling for attacks on foreign troops:
"For the defense of our holy book, we... must target the invaders’ military centers, their military convoys and their invading forces... so that they can never dare to desecrate the holy Koran again."
It is unknown if Wednesday's killing of the soldiers was a Taliban attack or just one man acting alone.