Two U.S. troops killed near protest of Quran burning
Afghans show copies of Qurans allegedly set fire during a protest this week outside Bagram Airfield.
February 23rd, 2012
10:35 AM ET

Two U.S. troops killed near protest of Quran burning

[Updated at 10:35 a.m. ET] Two American troops were killed in Afghanistan on Thursday near a demonstration where people were protesting the burning of Qurans by NATO troops.

The troops were killed by a person wearing an Afghan National Army uniform, a U.S. official said, asking not to be named discussing casualties.

The troops are among at least nine people who have been killed near or amid demonstrations that have erupted in Afghanistan since the burning of the Islamic religious material by NATO troops at the beginning of the week. It is not clear if the troops were killed in revenge for the burning of Qurans, but the attack occurred at a base outside of which the demonstration was taking place, a local official said.

The protest and shootings came as the Taliban called on Muslims to attack NATO military bases and convoys and kill its soldiers following the admission that NATO troops had incinerated Islamic religious material at Bagram Airfield.

Afghan officials investigating the Quran burning urged Afghans to respond wisely and avoid protests "that pave the ground for the enemies of peace," they said in a statement Thursday.

[Initial post, 8:09 a.m. ET] President Barack Obama apologized to Afghan President Hamid Karzai for the burning of Qurans by NATO troops, calling the act an inadvertent error, Karzai's office and National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said Thursday.

"We will take the appropriate steps to avoid any recurrence, including holding accountable those responsible," Obama said in the letter, according to Karzai's office.

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the airfield Tuesday, furious over reports of the burning.

Belief Blog: Rioting over Quran burning is un-Islamic, scholar argues

Some Qurans and other Islamic religious materials gathered for disposal from a detention facility at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan were improperly burned, the commander of the International Security Assistance Force said Tuesday.

"This was not a decision that was made because they were religious materials," Gen. John Allen said. "It was not a decision that was made with respect to the faith of Islam. It was a mistake. It was an error. The moment we found out about it, we immediately stopped and we intervened."

soundoff (188 Responses)
  1. RS, CA

    Still wonder whether or not Obama is Muslim ???!!!

    February 23, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Hence21

      I apologized for cutting someone off in traffic, dose that make me a muslim?

      February 23, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Sagebrush Shorty

      ........Hence21 No, that makes you Presidential material.

      February 23, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
    • crabman2


      February 23, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
    • crabman2

      To Hence21 ; Yes , because a muslim would never apologize to an Infidel . So if you apologized , the driver must have been muslim . Do you see how your twisted logic works ?

      February 23, 2012 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  2. Chrisekpo

    Appology from Obama and NATO is nonsense
    The burning of the Holy Quran was intentional especially when NATO said the prisoners were passing info with the Quran
    You pee on the dead bodies, America apologises
    Burn the Quran, you apologise
    Leave that country
    NATO has failed. Not able to defeat Taliban

    February 23, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
    • CenTexan

      Well, I agree we need to get the H e l l out of there! Leave them to themselves.

      February 23, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  3. McMAN71

    Just because THEY have committed atrocities does not give us the right to stoop to their level. Not only was apologizing for such a stupid and disgusting act, but those who did it should face charges for causing the deaths of the NATO soldiers who died during the protest. Did they REALLY think that the locals were just going to accept the Quaran burning?

    February 23, 2012 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Gene Cole

      It would have been better if we had just burned them and roasted pork hot dogs over the flames. No apology necessary.

      February 23, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
    • KARL

      An apology was warranted. Those that devised and carried out the action should not be punished, but trained on the insensitivety of this act and others. The reason for it appears sound. But such an action put people in harm's way as evidence of the two NATO that paid with their lives. I simply wish we could bring them home now. Let Karzai deal with them.

      February 23, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jasie

    He should not apologize although that seems to be his foreign policy in a nutshell.

    February 23, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Cedar Rapids

      Apologising was exactly the right thing to do, and whoever was president would have done it.

      February 23, 2012 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  5. Enough

    As a president, you should state that an error has occurred. However, you do not say sorry to irrational behaviour and you certainly do not say you are going to punish people responsible for the mistake!

    The Afghanistan government has been responsible for the burning of the Holy Bible, because missionaries were violating their religious beliefs. Did Hamid Karzai appologise for this burning? Did Americans behave in an irrational manner?

    This is not Presidential!

    February 23, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  6. coder

    why is obama apologizing for NATO?
    NATO is not the United States
    I dont understand why this president is apologizing to a group of terrorists
    You dont see the UN or any other nation apologizing for NATO's action

    February 23, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jason

    Amazing that when citizens of a country burn American flags, our President does not receive an apology from that countries leaders.

    February 23, 2012 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  8. ModVoice

    My only problem is that the President said he was going to hold someone accountable. Last time I check Americans can burn any book they want, mistake or intentional. As a matter of fact, as a protest to people killing human beings because of a book, I say all Americans go to Barnes an Nobles, buy a Quoran and burn it is an expression of our long held liberties and freedoms our forefather died to protect. Somebody needs to grow a pair!!!!

    February 23, 2012 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  9. Mercenary For Hire

    Guess it is safe to say we are not (nor ever were) too popular out in that part of the world. I just don't get it. Now that our elite US Navy SEAL Team 6 accomplished their mission in capturing and killing Osama Bin Laden, what the heck are we still doing over there? It's time to bring our brave warriors home – enough is enough already !! If the Afghans, Pakistanis & Taliban want to kill each other, let them !!

    February 23, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  10. Pete Ferguson

    The US Army burnt Afghan Holy Bibles last year but there was no apology then. whats the difference other than the muslim propensity to violence as prescribed in their religious texts.

    February 23, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  11. JV

    Its customary to burn a Koran to destroy it. Again, what mistake was made? If they were thrown in toilets and/or used for TP, maybe a quiet, small , and brief, "hey sorry about that" would be in order. This prez has no nutz and no leadership ability. Anyone in the military who has worked with a true leader knows that. This guy cares around flowers and ice cream cones in PR campaigns. His character traits dont have a lick of leadership ability in it.

    February 23, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • JP

      and who exactly is that true leader you speak of?

      February 23, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  12. BOMBO ©

    Build a nice big wall around the Islamic world. Nobody gets in or out for a few centuries. Our descendants will check then to see if they are more human and can interact with others yet.

    February 23, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  13. Dee

    oh please! at least he has the integrity to show that America is better than that! it's not about if Afghans burn our flags or not. We as Americans have much more respect than that! This shows how great of a President we have that we stands for American values!

    February 23, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jeansee

    How is it religious and justified to kill another human being?

    February 23, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Base

      Well, read the Quran...and you will see where Islam justifies the killing of human beings...and that is part of the problem.

      February 23, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • melvinslizard

      In defense of your family?
      In defense of the helpless?

      February 23, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. MySay500

    Whether one believes in a different religion, another does not have the right to deface what they consider their 'bible'. Nor does that give the ones who believe that they have been mistreated the right to murder innocent people. Our troops need to come home now.

    None of this makes any sense because it accomplishes nothing. My heart goes out to the families of these soldiers.

    February 23, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
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