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2 U.S. officers shot dead in Afghan Interior Ministry

February 25, 2012 |  5:42 am

REPORTING FROM KABUL, Afghanistan and DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Two American military officers were shot and killed Saturday inside an Afghan government ministry, according to Afghan news reports.

In a statement, NATO’s International Security Assistance Force confirmed the deaths of two service members in Kabul, without disclosing their nationalities. Afghanistan’s Tolo television identified the two as Americans, and the Interior Ministry said two “international colleagues” had been killed on its premises.

The deaths came as the country was racked by protests for a fifth straight day over the burning of copies of the Koran at a U.S.-run military base, in what has become one of the most sustained episodes of unrest in a decade of war.

More than two dozen people have been killed in the violence, including two U.S. soldiers who were shot dead by an Afghan soldier at their base in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday as a demonstration was taking place outside.

The protests continued Saturday in at least half a dozen venues across Afghanistan, and more deaths and injuries were reported. In one eastern province, hundreds of demonstrators tried to storm the governor's compound.


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-- Hashmat Baktash and Laura King

Photo: Afghan policemen march toward an anti-U.S. demonstration in Mehterlam, Laghman province, east of Kabul. Credit: Rahmat Gul / AP Photo