After the United States Military apologized to the Afghan government Tuesday over the burning of Islamic holy books, President Barack Obama personally apologized to Afghan President Hamid Karzai in a letter earlier today, according to Karzai’s office. CNN is reporting that Obama referred to NATO troops burning the Korans as an “inadvertent error,” and offered his sincerest apologies. But Fox News reported that the governor’s office in Kandahar, Afghanistan called the event a “shameful move by some stupid individuals.”
USA Today reported that US Ambassador Ryan Crocker hand delivered the letter to Karzai, right on the heels of two American troops being killed. MSNBC reported that “A man dressed as an Afghan government soldier killed the soldiers and wounded four others during a protest about the burning of Islamic holy books.” According to MSNBC, there have been violent protests daily since news of American NATO forces burning Korans broke Tuesday.
According to Fox News, The United States Embassy in Kabul went into lockdown on Wednesday, and urged all US citizens to avoid demonstration areas, or places where “westerners congregate.” Afghani protestors were carrying automatic weapons and shouting “Death to America,” and a few miles away outside the US military base, Camp Phoenix, protestors were said to be hurling rocks and shooting at the base.
MSNBC reported that the Taliban is taking full responsibility for these attacks, according to a text message sent from Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid. CNN also reported that the Taliban is officially rejecting all American apologies related to the incident, and said in an e-mail that they called on all Afghani people to take action against American Troops in order to teach them a lesson so as they will never “dare to insult the holy Koran.”
The Koran’s, along with other books, were removed from a detainee center’s library for having “extremist inscriptions” written in them, and American troops were concerned they could be being used as a way to pass extremist messages along. CNN reported than an unnamed military official said that he was not sure what the intended method of disposal was for the books, but that the troops being unable to read Arabic is one of the reasons for the mistake.
Photo by Allan Grey.