Two dead in suicide bombing over Koran burnings | News | DW | 05.03.2012
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Two dead in suicide bombing over Koran burnings

Taliban insurgents have claimed responsibility for a suicide attack at the gates of the NATO base in Afghanistan where Korans were burned. At least two people have been killed by the explosion.

Two Afghan teenagers were killed on Monday when a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device outside the gate to Bagram air base in Afghanistan. Two boys, aged 14 and 15 years old, were the only two fatalities besides the perpetrator, according to police officials.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, citing the destruction of Korans there two weeks ago as the cause.

"A suicide attacker wearing a suicide vest came out of the truck and blew up his vest outside Bagram airfield. As a result, two people are killed and four wounded, all were civilians," provincial governor Abdul Basir Salangi told AFP.

Korans were burned

The burning of the Korans at the NATO base in February damaged relations between Afghans and the foreign troops. Anti-Western protests and riots led to 30 deaths, including those of American troops shot by Afghan soldiers.

US President Barack Obama had sent a letter of apology to Afghan President Hamid Karzai for the destruction of the holy books, which the Americans claimed happened by accident.

But Maulavi Khaliqdad, a member of an investigatory panel established by Karzai, told the news agency dpa that he believed the act was more malicious.

"We believe it is intentional," Khaliqdad said. "If they burnt one or two copies, then we could have said it could have been a mistake. But they took hundreds of such books to burn. Everyone knew those were religious books."

sjt/msh (dpa, AFP, Reuters)