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Seven killed in Afghan Clashes against Quran Burning

RIA Novosti

18:56 23/02/2012 MOSCOW, February 23 (RIA Novosti) - Seven Afghans have been killed in the clashes between Afghan security forces and protesters, rallying against Quran’s burning by the U.S. soldiers, Afghan Interior Ministry said on Thursday.

The angered Afghans took to the streets on Tuesday shortly after Afghan workers noticed the U.S. soldiers at the Bagram airbase dumping books, including four copies of the Holy Quran, in a bin for burning garbage.

According to the Ministry, four people have been killed in the eastern Afghan province of Parwan, the others have been killed near the Bagram base, in the city of Jalalabad and in Logar province.

The U.S. military officials quickly reacted on the burning by making apologies to Afghan President Hamid Karzai for the "improperly disposed" copies of Quran.

Earlier on Thursday U.S. President Barack Obama sent an apology letter to Karzai, saying that the books were burnt by mistake.

“The error was inadvertent; I assure you that we will take the appropriate steps to avoid any recurrence, to include holding accountable those responsible,” Karzai’s office cited Obama’s statement.

The U.S. apologies however did not console Afghans as the International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) in Afghanistan said on Thursday that two U.S. soldiers were shot dead in a backlash near the Bagram base by "an individual wearing an Afghan National Army uniform."

The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack on U.S. soldiers, NBC News said.

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