President Obama spoke with his top general in Afghanistan on Saturday afternoon amid continued rioting that followed the burning of the Koran at the country’s largest U.S. military base and the killing of two U.S. service members.
Mr. Obama called Gen. John Allen, commander of U.S. forces and the NATO International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan after reports of the murder of two U.S. service members. He expressed his condolences to Gen. Allen and to the families who lost loved ones and thanked Afghanistan President Karzai for making a statement Saturday morning calling for calm and a peaceful end to the uproar.
“The United States remains committed to a partnership with the government and people of Afghanistan, as we work to realize our shared goal of disrupting, dismantling and defeating al Qaeda and strengthening the Afghan state,” Mr. Obama said in a statement.
Tensions remain high after six days of rioting that continued even after Mr. Obama wrote a letter to Mr. Karzai apologizing for the Koran burning. About 30 people have been killed in the violence since it emerged Tuesday that copies of the Muslim holy book and other religious materials had been thrown into a fire used to burn garbage and Bagram Airfield, a large U.S. base north of Kabul.
NATO and the British government recalled their international advisers from Afghan ministries in Kabul late Saturday after two U.S. advisers — a lieutenant colonel and a major — were found dead in their office, shot in the back of the head. The names of the victims have not been released.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.