Two Americans killed in Afghanistan amid protests

NATO said in a statement Thursday that two ISAF soldiers were killed when “an individual wearing an Afghan National Army uniform turned his weapon against International Security Assistance Force service members in eastern Afghanistan.”

Thousands have protested at the U.S. Bagram Air Base and throughout the country after Qurans and other religious materials were found burned at the base. Seven Afghans were killed on Wednesday in the protests, and AFP reported at least three more were killed Thursday.

President Obama sent a letter to Afghan President Hamid Karzai this week apologizing for the burning, which he called an inadvertent error, and said that those responsible would be held accountable.

But the Taliban, which has begun negotiations with U.S. officials in peace talks, issued statements Thursday calling for violence, urging Afghan soldiers to turn “their guns on the foreign infidel invaders.”

“As part of our defense of our sacred book, we should not be satisfied with mere protests and empty slogans but the military bases of the invaders, their military convoys and their troops should become a target of our courageous attacks,” the statement said.

Karzai said Thursday that a U.S. soldier was responsible for the Quran burnings, which he said in a statement was done “out of ignorance and with poor understanding” of the Quran’s religious significance, according to Reuters.

Karzai’s office said that the investigation into the burning would likely be concluded later on Thursday.