Afghan Shootings Force Callback Of US, NATO Ministers

For the first time in the decade-long war in Afghanistan, the top commander of the U.S. and NATO forces has recalled all international ministers from Afghan ministries.

This is in reaction to the killing of two American military advisers Saturday inside a heavily guarded ministry building.

Violence has sprung up in the wake of protests in Afghanistan over the burning of copies of the Quran at a U.S. army base.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack at the Interior Ministry, saying it was retaliation for the Quran burnings. The two U.S. officers were a lieutenant colonel and major, and Afghan and Western officials say they were found dead on their office floor.

Western officials speaking on grounds of anonymity say the two American officers were shot in the back of the head.

A Taliban spokesman has identified the shooter as one of their sympathizers. He says an accomplice inside the ministry helped him get inside the compound.

The Pentagon says the Afghan defense minister has called U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to apologize for the shooting and offer his condolences.


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