2 U.S. troops killed in shoot­ing at mil­i­tary base

The Washington Times Daily - - World -

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.

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