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Obama Apologizes for Qurans’ Burning

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President Obama apologized on Thursday for the burning of Korans at the largest American base in Afghanistan earlier this week as furious protests raged for a third day and a man wearing Afghan Army uniform turned his weapon on coalition soldiers, killing two of them.

“I wish to express my deep regret for the reported incident,” Mr. Obama said in a letter to President Hamid Karzai. “I extend to you and the Afghan people my sincere apologies.”

The letter was handed to Mr. Karzai by the American ambassador to Afghanistan, Ryan C. Crocker, on Thursday afternoon in Kabul. The acting spokesman for the American Embassy in Kabul, Mark Thornburg, confirmed the wording of the letter and that it had been hand delivered by Mr. Crocker to Mr. Karzai. “The error was inadvertent,” Mr. Obama said. “I assure you that we will take the appropriate steps to avoid any recurrence, to include holding accountable those responsible.”

The letter, an apparent attempt to quell the ferocity of the protests, followed a third day of angry demonstrations across Afghanistan in which another six Afghans were killed and at least 55 wounded, according to Afghan officials.

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