Suicide attack on NATO base where Qurans were burned

GlobalPost

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.

More on GlobalPost: It's the occupation, not just the Quran burnings

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.

More on GlobalPost: Afghanistan: 2 American soldiers shot dead by Afghan gunmen

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.

More on GlobalPost: Has Israel's regional isolation helped protect its economy?

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Sign up for The Top of the World, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.