News / Asia

International Military Personnel Recalled from Afghan Ministries

A U.S. military vehicle drives on the road leading to the Afghan Interior Ministry in Kabulو February 25, 2012.
A U.S. military vehicle drives on the road leading to the Afghan Interior Ministry in Kabulو February 25, 2012.
Brian Padden

All international military personnel working in Afghan government offices were recalled after a gunman killed two American military advisers Saturday inside the heavily guarded Ministry of Interior. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was in retaliation for the burning of Qurans at a U.S. Army base in Afghanistan, an incident that ignited days of violent anti-American protests throughout the country.

The two American military advisers, a lieutenant colonel and a major, were found dead on the floor of a locked office in the Ministry of Interior that can only be accessed by people who know the numerical combination to the lock.

Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson, spokesman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), says the military is conducting a criminal investigation to find the perpetrator.

“The greatest concern obviously is how the perpetrator could make it into this high security area of the Ministry of Interior, get so close to the personnel working there and actually do his killings.”

Afghan President Hamid Karzai addressed the shooting at a press conference in Kabul.

He says it is not clear who did this or where he come from, or whether he was an Afghan or a foreigner, but he is sorry for those who were killed and extended his condolences to their families.

A Taliban spokesman identified the shooter as one of the group's sympathizers. He said an accomplice inside the ministry helped the perpetrator inside the compound to kill the Americans. General Jacobson says he cannot at this time confirm or deny any involvement by the Taliban.

In reaction to the breach of security, the top commander of the U.S. and NATO forces ordered a temporary withdrawal of all international military personal from government facilities in Afghanistan.

General Jacobson says despite the recall, the close cooperation between U.S.-led coalition forces, and Afghan police and military will continue. NATO forces have advisers embedded in many Afghan ministries. The advisers are helping to develop the ministries in preparation for a planned transfer of control of security to Afghan forces by the end of 2014.

The shooting comes amidst a week of intense and violent anti-American demonstrations across Afghanistan in reaction to news that Qurans and other religious materials were burned as trash at a U.S. military base.

ISAF spokesman Jacobson says he expects further unrest in the days to come.

“The demonstrations peaked on Friday as they always do in the Muslim world after prayers, and we have seen decreasing numbers but we have seen continued demonstrations. Yesterday again turned violent in two places up in the north and the east of the country. And we are starting to see demonstrations today so we do expect further unrest. We do expect further demonstrations. We will have to see how this situation develops.”

Tight security remains in effect in Kabul. Foreigners working at the U.S. embassy and at international organizations have been banned from leaving their compounds.

President Barack Obama and other U.S. officials have apologized for the Quran burning incident saying it was a mistake, but their regrets have not quelled the deadly protests.  

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid