Two coalition service members, reported to be a U.S. colonel and a major, have been killed in a shooting incident in the Afghan capital, NATO’s International Security Assistance Force said.
“Initial reports indicate an individual turned his weapon against International Security Assistance Force service members in Kabul City today, killing two service members,” the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation said in an e-mailed statement.
The incident happened at the Interior Ministry, the Associated Press said.
An unidentified westerner killed the two American service members inside a room at the ministry used by foreign advisers, AP said, citing two Afghan officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose details of the shooting.
The Interior Ministry issued a statement saying that two of the ministry’s international colleagues were killed, and that an investigation was under way, AP reported.
The incident comes as demonstrations in Afghanistan protesting the burning of the Koran at a U.S. base intensified despite repeated American apologies for the mistreatment of the Islamic holy book.
The Ministry of Interior reported that nine protesters were killed and 16 demonstrators and 12 Afghan National Police were wounded yesterday in stone-throwing and exchanges of gunfire in 13 of the country’s 34 provinces.
Two U.S. soldiers were shot Feb. 23 by a man in an Afghan army uniform, said Ahmed Zia Abdulzai, the government spokesman in the eastern province of Nangarhar.
NATO spokesman Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson said he could not confirm reports that the victims of today’s attack were killed by a westerner or comment on if the deaths were linked to the Koran burnings.
“It is too early to say who is responsible for these deaths,” Jacobson told the British Broadcasting Corp. “We are investigating the incident.”
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