Nine Afghans were killed today in the Jalalabad Province when a suicide car bomber attacked the gates of a NATO base. The Taliban claimed credit for the attack, saying it was revenge for the Quran burnings last week.
“This attack is revenge against those soldiers who burned our Quran,” the statement from Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid read. No foreign soldiers were apparently killed or wounded in the attack, though one of the slain was an Afghan soldier.
The blast brings the overall death toll from the book burnings to approximately 40, mostly Afghans although also including four US soldiers. Protests, many of them turning into riots as police and security contractors open fire on them, have continued to grow nationwide.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed “regret” for the burnings of Qurans, but said that “the violence must stop” so that the occupation can continue going forward. Given the anger that the burnings have created, this could take some time.
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