Two U.S. troops have been shot to death and four others wounded by an Afghan Army solider who turned his gun on his American trainers apparently in response to the burning of Qurans at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan.
An Afghan official told CBS News that the shooter was motivated by the burning of Qurans, but did not provide details as to what led him to that conclusion. However, the suspect reportedly had joined other Afghan protesters demonstrating against the U.S. at an American military outpost before opening fire with an automatic weapon.
Angry protests against the U.S. have been occurring in Afghanistan for three days, since the U.S. military apologized for burning Muslim holy books in a pit near Bagram airbase. A number of Afghans have been killed and wounded due to attacks from Afghan security forces trying to curb the protests.
Afghan police defended the use of violence against demonstrators, saying that they have a “right” to protest but only in the context of existing laws. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has warned demonstrators to tone down the rhetoric.
US military commander Gen. John Allen confirmed the burning of the Qurans, but apologized, saying that they wouldn’t include Qurans in future book burnings. Military officials say the Qurans were among a large number of library books singled out for destruction as “extremist” in nature.