Maybe the next apology will quell the bloodlust. No one has worked up an apologies-to-bloodshed exchange rate. But these murders by ANA forces have happened before the latest round of Qur’an Rage, and would certainly would have happened without the excuse du jour found in the Qur’an burnings: investigators now say this attack had been in the works for at least a year.
The inclination and sense of justification to rampage, burn, and kill preceded the currently popular pretext for doing so. “Gunmen kill NATO forces in southern Afghanistan,” by Nick Paton Walsh for CNN, March 1:
(CNN) — A gunman in an Afghan National Army uniform and another man shot dead two NATO soldiers at a combat outpost in southern Afghanistan Thursday, authorities said.
The dead soldiers were Americans, according to Niaz Mohammad Sarhadi, the district chief in Kandahar province, where the shooting happened. The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, however, did not immediately specify the service members’ nationalities.
Thursday’s shooting was the third at a base or government building since news emerged that U.S. troops burned Qurans and other religious materials early last week — an incident that has sparked outrage, protests, and violence across Afghanistan.
All three shootings were carried out by men in official clothing.
Four Americans were killed in the earlier attacks. If the troops killed Thursday are indeed American, that would bring the death toll from the three attacks to six.
Coalition forces responding to Thursday’s incident killed the two gunmen, said Capt. Justin Brockhoff, an ISAF spokesman.
Sarhadi said one gunman was an Afghan National Army soldier and the other, dressed in civilian clothes, was a teacher who used to run literacy courses for Afghan army soldiers.
Afghan civilians are sometimes used to teach Afghan soldiers English to improve their ability to work alongside ISAF.
It appeared that the teacher had been planning the attack for at least a year, Sarhadi said, because officials found pictures and other documents related to the Taliban among his possessions.
U.S. officials have called the Quran burning an error by troops who were inadvertently given the Qurans and other religious materials to dispose of because they were thought to contain extremist inscriptions. U.S. President Barack Obama has apologized for the burning.
Still, gunmen have targeted U.S. troops in the days following the burning. A man wearing an Afghan National Army uniform killed two American soldiers at a base in eastern Nangarhar province early last week.
Over the weekend, two senior U.S. officers were gunned down inside the heavily secure
Afghan Interior Ministry when a junior intelligence officer turned his gun on them. The gunman, who had been fired by the ministry but recently rejoined as a driver, is still on the loose.
The incident prompted the United States to pull military advisers and embedded civilians from Afghan ministries, and France announced it was temporarily withdrawing all of its public officials in Afghan institutions to ensure their safety.
The unrest following the Quran burning has left at least 41 people dead, including the six Americans, and hundreds more wounded….