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Protests and violence spread in Afghanistan

February 27, 2012

Unrest has been escalating in Afghanistan since early last week when a group of US soldiers at Bagram Air Base burned Qurans and other Islamic materials in a pit used to burn garbage. President Obama apologized to Afghan President Hamid Karzai and expressed regret for the incident. Nonetheless, protests and violent attacks have continued in the week since.

The latest incident involved a suicide car bomb attack in Jalalabad that killed at least nine people (see the Voice of America coverage here). About 30 Afghans have died in the violence and a number of NATO personnel have been injured or killed (the number of green on blue incidents, in which Afghan troops attack US and NATO troops, has also been on the rise [see this analysis at CNN.com]). In response to the murder of two American officers in the Interior Ministry in Kabul, NATO withdrew its advisors from all Afghan government ministries over the weekend.

For a variety of perspectives on the Quran burnings and their impact (in the US and on US foreign relations) see here, here, and here.

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