US envoy in Kabul urges calm, redoubling of peace efforts

Monday 27 February 2012,


Kabul- (BNA) The American ambassador to Afghanistan vowed Sunday to "redouble" efforts despite an insidious Taliban attack at the interior ministry in Kabul that killed two US military officers.

"Tensions are running very high here and I think we need to let things calm down, return to a more normal atmosphere, and then get on with business," said Ambassador Ryan Crocker, on a sixth day of violent anti-American protests.

"This is not the time to decide that we're done here. We have got to redouble our efforts. We've got to create a situation in which Al-Qaeda is not coming back,".

The two slain American officers, working as NATO advisors, were in the interior ministry on Saturday when "an individual" turned his weapon against the pair, the military alliance said, without giving further details.

The toll since the Koran burning incident at the Bagram airbase north of Kabul, which inflamed anti-Western sentiment already smoldering in Afghanistan over abuses by US-led foreign troops, rose Sunday to more than 30.

Senator John McCain, also speaking to CNN, said he understood the "anger and frustration and sorrow" that the American people feel at the "terribly unfortunate situation" in Afghanistan but urged them to stay the course.

"Have no doubt, that if Afghanistan reverts to a chaotic situation, you will see Al-Qaeda come back and it again be a base eventually of attacks on the United States of America," warned McCain, a celebrated Vietnam veteran who lost out to Obama in the 2008 presidential race.

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