Karzai Pleads for Calm as Quran Protests Grow

US Soldiers Wounded in Grenade Attack in Northern Afghanistan

Afghan President Hamid Karzai once again appealed for calm today after a hand grenade attack in northern Afghanistan wounded six American soldiers, and anti-US protests continued to soar nationwide.

Karzai warned that opponents of his regime were trying to “take advantage” of the situation, but his calls appeared to have little impact on the rallies¬†fueled by anger over the US military’s burning of Qurans early last week.

The grenade attack was just the latest in a growing number of casualties as a result of the burnings. The two US advisers killed last week over the matter were slain, according to officials familiar with the investigation, after they mocked the protesters and got into an argument with an Afghan who was watching video of the rallies. The attacker, an Afghan intelligence official, escaped after the attack and is still at large.

Gen. John Allen, the US commander of the occupation forces, has since ordered all advisers to withdraw from Afghan ministries, though NATO insists the advisers remain in “contact with” the personnel they advise.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.