Obama sent Afghan President Hamid Karzai a letter of apology over the burning of copies of the Koran overseen by a US officer at a US military base, Karzai’s office said Thursday. Obama said the incident was unintentional and pledged a full investigation, the president’s office said, as fierce anti-US protests swept the nation in which at least 14 people have died, including two American soldiers. Thousands of enraged Afghans have taken to the streets for a fourth day, after US soldiers inadvertently set fire to copies of the Koran. In the deadliest day of unrest so far, at least 12 people died across the country, as mobs charged at US bases and diplomatic missions.
Most Westerners were confined to their heavily fortified compounds, including the sprawling U.S. embassy complex and other embassies in central Kabul. Around 400 protesters hurled rocks and set fire to cars at a Norwegian-led military base in Faryab province on the Turkmen border, which is centre for around 500 soldiers and civilians from Norway, Latvia, Macedonia, Iceland and the United States. A small number protested at a French military base in the eastern Kapisa province but police deterred them successfully. Hundreds of protesting students in Jalalabad rejected any strategic pact with the United States, saying they would “take up jihad” if one were sealed. More than 20 people have been killed since the unrest began, including two US soldiers who died on Thursday.
President Barack Obama has apologised for the Koran-burning incident.