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Afghan protests enter its 6th violent day

February 26, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Violent protests in Afghanistan have entered a sixth day, claiming two additional lives. Protestors threw grenades at a U.S. base in northern Afghanistan and clashed with police.

The commander of U.S. and NATO forces has recalled all international ministers in Afghanistan, and Afghan President Hamid Karzai has renewed his calls for calm.

The top U.S. diplomat in Kabul and a campaign adviser to President Barack Obama said Sunday the U.S. isn't rethinking its commitment to Afghanistan, believing the country's fragile government could collapse and the Taliban would regain power if the U.S. were to walk away.

Obama apologized last week to Karzai for what U.S. officials say was an inadvertent burning of Afghan religious materials, including Qurans, at Bagram air base north of Kabul. Still, the incident fanned anti-Western sentiment across the country.

Since the backlash began on Tuesday about 30 people have been killed, including four U.S. soldiers.

On Saturday, a U.S. lieutenant colonel and a major were found shot inside a heavily guarded Afghan ministry. The Taliban claimed responsibility and said it was retaliation for the burnings.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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