Home / National News / US State Dept.: Shooting Deaths of Americans In Afghanistan Were ‘Calculated’


(WASHINGTON) — U.S. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland on Monday described the shooting of two American officers in the Afghan Interior Ministry on Saturday as “an assassination” that was “a calculated move.”

Nuland said that since the Koran burning incident there has been a concern that extremists “may be trying to exploit popular feelings to get the upper hand” and that is a situation “that all of us have to calm.”

She described the protests as “obviously popular feelings that were ignited as a result of the Koran incident. That’s a different thing than some of these targeted killings that we’ve seen. ”

She called the last few days “a difficult weekend in Afghanistan” and expressed condolences to the military families of those killed and injured this weekend.

Nuland said efforts to calm the situation continue: “At this point we are very focused on working with President Karzai, with his government, with our Afghan partners to try to calm the situation.” She added, “This is a relationship that is very important to both of us.  And we need to stay committed to it and not let the enemies of a peaceful, stable, increasingly democratic Afghanistan get the upper hand in this situation.”

Embassy personnel in Afghanistan are still under travel restrictions, Nuland said, “including those who were engaging with Afghan ministries.” She also said “the needs of the work are being evaluated on a case-by-case basis based on security.”

As was stated last week, she said the notion of a “lockdown” at the embassy is inaccurate, “but we are being cautious and looking at things on a case-by-case basis due to the security.  And we’ll continue to evaluate the security posture and adjust it as necessary to protect the security of our staff.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


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