Afghan Shooter of Two American Officers Identified

Abdul Saboor, an Afghanistan intelligence ministry employee, was identified as the gunman in the shooting of two American officers inside the Afghan Ministry of Interior on Saturday, according to CNN. The information was released by an Afghan counter-terrorism officer on the condition of anonymity. The shooting was part of a larger protest that has claimed at least 29 people dead and over 200 wounded.

The protest was triggered by the burning of Quran at an American base. Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has called for calm in a televised address. Karzai stated that staying calm would stop “enemies of our peace and stability” from taking advantage of the situation. He also called for the U.S. to prosecute those responsible for the destruction of the Qurans. Karzai has also extended his condolences to the slayed officers, but stated he did not know why or by who caused the attacks.

A NATO military official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the Qurans were removed from a detainee center’s library because of “extremist inscriptions” and that there was “an appearance that these documents were being used to facilitate extremist communications.” Writing in a Quran is a violation of Islamic faith, and it is unclear if the messages were written on the Quran or on paper inserted in the Quran.

President Barrack Obama has apologized and stated that the burning of the Qur’ans was an unintentional mistake. However, this “mistake” may prove to be the turning point in the 10-year old Afghanistan war, as U.S.-Afghanistan relations have fallen to an all-time low. Thousands of protesters have staged demonstrations across Afghanistan, going as far as climbing the walls of a U.S. base, throwing stones inside and decorating an outside wall with the Taliban’s flag, as reported by the Washington Post.

American flags and tires were burned throughout the region. Karzai met Thursday with members of the Afghan parliaments, many of which called for jihad Wednesday against the NATO forces. Karzai held firm that the government is responsibly handling the situation. The Taliban are the principal instigator of the recent protests. Outside an American base in the Khogyani district of Nangarhar province, an Afghan soldier turned his gun on U.S. troops, killing two.

This is not the first time the threat of violence erupting centered around the burning of a Quran. In 2010, Terry Jones, the pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla., threatened to burn 200 Qurans on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. The plan caused international outrage and pleas from American and world leaders for Jones to reconsider. Ultimately, Jones pledged to never burn a Quran, only to allow Wayne Sapp to do so on March 20, 2011 during his “trial of the Quran.” Thirty people died as a result in Afghanistan in protests against the United Nations, injuring at least 150.

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