Protesters in Afghanistan angry over the burning of Korans tossed hand grenades at a U.S. base Sunday, injuring seven U.S. military personnel believed to be Special Forces members, CNN reported.
According to the Associated Press, the protests in Kunduz province began peacefully but escalated as the group turned violent. People in the crowd fired at Afghan police and threw grenades at the base. Two protesters were killed in the clashes, one when troops fired back from the base and another by police. Sixteen police officers were also reportedly wounded.
NATO confirmed there had been an explosion outside one of its bases but declined to comment on casualties or injuries, Reuters reported.
The attack comes on the sixth day of rioting and demonstrations across the country after it emerged that Korans were disposed of in a burn pit on a U.S. base. Hundreds have been wounded and dozens killed in the violence, including four U.S. soldiers — two of whom were shot in the head in a Taliban-claimed attack Saturday.
In response to Saturday’s killings, Gen. John Allen, commander of NATO and U.S. forces, recalled all NATO personnel from Afghan ministries over fears of another attack. The perpetrator behind the killings is still at large.
U.S. officials have said the burning of the Korans was inadvertent, and President Barack Obama personally apologized for the incident.
Sunday’s demonstration came as Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai appealed for calm throughout the country.
“Now is the time to return to calm and not let our enemies use this situation,” Karzai said.