Ambassador Crocker: US Steadfast on Rebuilding Afghanistan

Sunday, 26 Feb 2012 10:15 AM

By Newsmax Wires

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The top U.S. diplomat in Afghanistan says the killing of two American military advisers inside an Afghan ministry won't diminish the U.S. commitment to the region.

Ambassador Ryan Crocker says Americans should keep in mind that Afghan security forces have died trying to protect U.S. personnel. Crocker also says that Kabul, the Afghan capital, has come a long way since a decade ago when there was virtually no government infrastructure or rule of law.

Saturday's shooting prompted the recall of NATO staff from Afghan ministries.

Crocker tells CNN's "State of the Union" that the U.S. goal is to prevent Afghanistan from turning into safe-haven for the Taliban.

He says about the long war: "While we say we're tired of it, al-Qaida and the Taliban certainly aren't."

Crocker's comments come even as seven U.S. military trainers were wounded on Sunday when a grenade was thrown at their base in northern Afghanistan, as anti-Western fury deepened over the burning of the Quran at a NATO base.

Despite an apology from President Barack Obama, riots raged across the country for a sixth day on Sunday against the desecration of the Muslim holy book at a NATO air base at Bagram. Some protesters hoisted the white Taliban flag.

The Afghan Interior Ministry identified one of its employees as a suspect in the fatal shooting of two U.S. officers in its headquarters a day earlier, an attack that prompted NATO to recall its staff from ministries.

One civilian was killed, 15 more were wounded, and three policemen were injured in riots near the NATO base in northern Kunduz province, where the blast that wounded the Americans took place, regional police chief Samihullah Qatra told reporters.

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