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Suicide attack on NATO base where Qurans were burned

A suicide attack on Bagram air base, where the Qurans were burned last month, has claimed two civilian lives.

Suicide attack koran burning bagram natoEnlarge
Afghan youth throw stones toward US soldiers standing at the gate of Bagram airbase during a protest against Koran desecration on February 21, 2012 at Bagram about 40 miles north of Kabul. A suicide bomb attack on the NATO base on March 5, 2012 has left two civilians dead. (SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images)

A suicide bomb attack at Bagram air base today has claimed two civilian lives and injured five more, according to CBS News. According to officials, the bomber targeted the gates of the NATO base where Qurans were "inadvertently" burned last month, setting off mass protests and violence in Afghanistan.

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The Taliban has claimed credit for the attack, with a message from the Taliban's spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid stating that it was in retaliation for the burning of the Qurans last month, according to the Associated Press. The Qurans were part of a collection of books that was disposed of because they were believed to be utilized for passing messages between prisoners.

A spokeswoman for NATO said no coalition forces have been harmed in the attack, according to Reuters, though district governor Kabir Ahmad Rahil said there might be foreign casualties.

So far more than 30 Afghans have been killed in the violence ensuing from the protests, and six US soldiers have been killed by Afghan forces gone rogue. The US has said the burning of the Qurans was unintentional and President Obama apologized for the act.

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The US ambassador to Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker, told a military magazine on Saturday, "We have not invested the billions of dollars we have and the lives of 1,900 Americans to see the Taliban retake this country and Al Qaeda once again be able to restage here."

The 90,000 troops in Afghanistan are expected to shrink to 68,000 by Oct. 1, with a full withdrawal by 2015, according to Time.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/afghanistan/120305/suicide-attack-nato-base-where-korans-were-bur