Fallout Continues over Burned Korans, US Apology

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Fallout from the accidental desecration of Korans at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan is continuing.

In another apparent act of retaliation, a suicide car bomber killed at least nine people outside a NATO base in the eastern city of Jalalabad, Monday.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, describing it as "revenge" for Korans recently burned by U.S. soldiers at Bagram Air Base.

Meanwhile, the White House and U.S. military are facing strong criticism for their repeated apologies to Muslims for the unintentional Koran burnings.

Six Afghan civilians, two airport guards and a soldier died, Monday, after the bomber pummeled a car into the gates of the NATO base and airport. Twelve people were injured.

The attack came just days after a gunman trained in religious schools shot and killed two U.S. officers at point blank range.

Abdul Saboor Salangi, 25, is the suspected killer in that attack. He was a driver for the Interior Ministry and police are still looking for him.

Army Maj. Robert Marchanti was among those who died in the. His body returned to his home state of Maryland on Monday.

"You hear every day about how people die fighting for their country but it doesn't really hit home until someone you are related to or love," Marchanti's son, Aaron, said.

Despite concerns for the safety of American forces, a spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force run by NATO said Afghan security is trying to help.

"The biggest sign of very good cooperation was given to us by the Afghan national police, who stood with excellence between demonstrators and ISAF forces over an entire week," Brig. Gen. Carsten Jacobson said.

U.S. military leaders and President Barack Obama have repeatedly apologized to Muslims.

"I come here to apologize on behalf of the Department of Defense for the incident that took place in Afghanistan this week when American military personnel unknowingly and improperly disposed of Islamic religious materials, including the holy Koran," senior Pentagon official Peter Lavoy told a group of Muslims in Washington, Friday.

But the violence in Afghanistan has only worsened since then.

Republican presidential candidate and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich accused the the government of deferring to Muslims while Muslims fail to recognize the plight of Christians around the world.

"Churches were burned in Nigeria. I didn't hear any apology. Churches were burned in Egypt. I didn't hear any apology. Churches were burned in Malaysia. I didn't hear any apology," Gingrich said.

"Policies in Iraq since we entered the country have led the population of Christians in Iraq to drop from 1,200,000 to 500,000," he continued.

"I haven't heard any apologies. It's amazing," Gingrich continued. "Saudi Arabia allows no open worship by Christians or Jews. Period. And then lectures us. And we don't, today in our elites, have the nerve to stand up and say this is baloney."

In Afghanistan, the U.S apologies haven't been accepted. The U.S. mission of training Afghan troops and police to fend off the Taliban for control of the country remains in jeopardy.

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John Waage

John Waage

CBN News Sr. Editor

John Waage has covered politics and analyzed elections for CBN News since 1980, including primaries, conventions, and general elections. 

He also analyzes the convulsive politics of the Middle East.