2 U.S. troops killed in shooting at military base
KABUL | Two U.S. soldiers were fatally shotthursday by an Afghan soldier and a literacy teacher at a joint base in southern Afghanistan, officials said, the latest in a series of deaths following the burning of Korans by U.S. soldiers.
Both were killed on the same day that the top NATO commander allowed a small number of foreign advisers to return to work at Afghan ministries after more than a week of being locked down in secure locations because of the killing of two other Americans.
Thursday’s killings raised to six the number of Americans killed in less than two weeks amid heightened tensions after the Feb. 20 burning of Korans and other Islamic texts that had been dumped in a garbage pit at Bagram Airfield near Kabul.
More than 30 Afghans also were killed in six days of violent riots that broke out after the incident.
President Obama and other U.S. officials apologized and said the burning was an accident. His statement has failed to quell the anger, although Muslim protests over the burnings have ebbed this week. knowledge of the negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang told the Associated Press on Thursday.
Word of Ri Yong-ho’s visit to the forum at Syracuse University, where he also may meet on the sidelines with U.S. officials, comes on the heels of a breakthrough agreement that will provide much-needed U.S. food aid to North Korea in exchange for a rollback of its nuclear programs.
The agreement announced Wednesday sets in motion a plan laid out by North Korean leader Kim Jong-il before his death in December: to improve relations with the U.S. and to get back to six-nation disarmament-for-aid negotiations. Thursday discussed ways to cooperate as they vie for dominance in the region’s oceans, an official said, as police detained nearly a dozen Tibetan exiles protesting outside against China’s treatment of Tibet.
China presses territorial claims to much of the South China Sea, while India has been exploring for oil in Vietnamese waters — an agreement with Vietnam that China views with suspicion.
Vietnam’s fast-growing economy and its natural resources, including oil and gas, are an attraction for India, which, like China, is seeking energy sources to fuel its economic boom.
On Thursday, Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met in the Indian capital and decided to hold a maritime cooperation dialogue, said India’s External Affairs Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin.