U.S. urges Afghanistan to protect NATO forces

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 25, 2012 2:24 PM
U.S. urges Afghanistan to protect NATO forces

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta urged the Afghan government on Saturday to take decisive action to protect NATO forces and curtail violence, after two American military officers were shot dead inside Afghanistan's interior ministry.

The Pentagon said Panetta made the appeal in a phone call with his Afghan counterpart, Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak, who apologized over the incident.

"Minister Wardak said that President (Hamid) Karzai was assembling the religious leaders, parliamentarians, justices of the Supreme Court, and other senior Afghan officials to take urgent steps to do so (curtail violence)," said George Little, a Pentagon spokesman.

(Reporting By Phil Stewart)