Two Top US Advisers Shot Dead in Afghan Interior Ministry By Afghan Policeman Upset Over Koran Burnings
Afghan protesters burn a picture of U.S. President Barack Obama during a protest in Khost province February 24, 2012. Twelve people were killed on Friday in the bloodiest day yet in protests that have raged across Afghanistan over the desecration of copies of the Muslim holy book at a NATO military base with riot police and soldiers on high alert braced for more violence. (REUTERS/Anwarullah)
Two members of the U.S. military were shot dead on Saturday inside the heavily barricaded Interior Ministry in the centre of the Afghan capital, Afghan security sources said, as anti-Western protests raged for a fifth day across the country.
It was not immediately clear who killed the Americans, said one Afghan security source. They were gunned down during a scuffle, another source said.
“American and Afghan troops were present at the time of the shootout, but we are unsure who killed them,” a senior Afghan security source told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
A spokesman for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said they were aware of “an accident” in central Kabul, but declined to give more details.
The shootings took place as fury over the burning of copies of the Koran, the Muslim holy book, at a NATO base continued to grip the country.
Four Afghans were shot dead by Afghan security forces as demonstrations stretched to a fifth day, with an attempt by demonstrators to bombard a U.N. compound in the north.
The US advisers were shot dead by an Afghan policeman upset about this week’s koran burnings.
FOX News reported:
The Two U.S. military advisers were killed Saturday at the Afghanistan Interior Ministry in Kabul, though accounts of what led to the clash were unclear.
Contradictory accounts emerged out of Kabul following the shooting. Initially, reports from the country indicated that the shooting was a result of an altercation between Westerners. But a report by the Wall Street Journal, citing one Western official in Kabul, said the two high-ranking advisers were killed by an Afghan policeman who was upset about the burning of Korans earlier this week at a U.S. military base.
The Associated Press then quoted a NATO official saying the shooter was not a Westerner.
A U.S. official in Washington confirmed that the two killed were American and that they were killed by “an assailant,” without giving further information about the attacker. The official spoke anonymously to discuss information that had not been publicly released.