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

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

Physically and culturally close to Western Europe, Lviv feels solidarity with compatriots in country’s east but says they need to decide own future More

West African Women Disproportionately Affected by Ebola

Women's roles in families and the community put them at greater risk for contracting the disease, officials say More

Video NASA's MAVEN Spacecraft Arrives at Mars

Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution craft will measure rates at which gases escape Martian atmosphere into space 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.
NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbiti
X
September 22, 2014 9:20 PM
NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid