Washington: The Pentagon on Sunday decried as
"unacceptable" the killing of two US military advisers in
Kabul and called on Afghan authorities to better protect
coalition forces and curtail raging violence.
"This act is unacceptable, and the United States
condemns it in the strongest possible terms," said Defence
Secretary Leon Panetta`s spokesman George Little.
The two Americans, working as International Security
Assistance Force officers in the NATO coalition, were in the
interior ministry when "an individual" turned his weapon
against the pair, NATO said, without giving further details.
Taliban insurgents claimed responsibility for the
shooting, saying it was in revenge for the burning of Qurans
at a US-run military base -- an incident that forced US
President Barrack Obama to apologize to the Afghan people.
Little said Afghanistan`s Defense Minister Abdul Rahim
Wardak telephoned Panetta on Saturday and "apologized for
today`s incident" and offered condolences to family members of
The shooting prompted General John Allen, commander of
NATO`s International Security Assistance Force, to pull all
NATO staff out of Afghan government ministries, a move Panetta
"The secretary supports the decision General Allen
made to protect our forces by immediately recalling ISAF
personnel working in ministries around Kabul."
Panetta urged Wardak and "the Afghan government to
take decisive action to protect coalition forces and curtail
the violence in Afghanistan after a challenging week in the
country," Little said.
Wardak also assured his American counterpart that
Afghan President Hamid Karzai "was assembling the religious
leaders, parliamentarians, justices of the Supreme Court, and
other senior Afghan officials to take urgent steps to do so,"
the spokesman added.