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Germans ditch Afghan base after Koran burning

The Local · 24 Feb 2012, 10:43

Published: 24 Feb 2012 10:43 GMT+01:00

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After 300 protesters massed outside the German Taloqan base in northern Afghanistan, the commander withdrew the 50 troops to the larger Kunduz base camp 70 kilometres away, abandoning the camp around a month ahead of schedule.

A Bundeswehr spokesman said the troops had taken all military vehicles with them, but it remained unclear whether the soldiers would return at a later date to complete the clear-out. The relatively small camp is said to be difficult to secure, since it is in the middle of the town of Taloqan, capital of the Takhar province, with a population of 200,000.

State broadcaster ZDF reported that stones had been thrown at the camp, which was also attacked in May last year, when several people were shot dead. Taloqan is also the town where an Afghan police chief and two Bundeswehr soldiers were killed in an attack on the governor’s palace last year.

Unrest has escalated dramatically following the alleged burning of several copies of the Koran by US soldiers at their Bagram base earlier this week. The exact circumstances of the burning remain unclear - the holy texts were apparently burnt accidentally on a garbage heap by soldiers unaware of what they were.

Several people have been killed during violent protests since then, and two soldiers from the NATO-led international mission ISAF were shot dead by an Afghan soldier on Thursday.

US President Barack Obama’s official apology to his Afghan counterpart Harmid Karzai has done little to quell the protests, which have been joined by thousands of Afghans across the country.

The Taliban has sworn revenge for the incident and called on Afghan soldiers to abandon their posts, promising to welcome all deserters as “heroes.”

Story continues below…

DPA/The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:08 February 24, 2012 by 1TruthTeller
Germany has no business in Afghanistan. Bring the troops home today!
16:36 February 24, 2012 by raandy
No NATO forces belong in Afganistan. This place is a dark hole. These people do not want us there and often start shooting there so called allies. Lets all get out of this sh^t hole and let the Taliban have it . That is what most Afghans want is to be rid of foreigners and to have an Islamic Republic.

Karzai is corrupt and a puppet of the west he will only remain as long as NATO does. Give the people what they want, now.
16:43 February 24, 2012 by RedLeg6
I don't think this was a good idea on the Bundeswehr's part.
17:01 February 24, 2012 by gurudev
Afghanistan is a big mess and could turn extremely volatile if the stabilising forces are removed. After the soviet withdrawal this is what happened and the world ended up with Taliban and look what they did.
18:30 February 24, 2012 by expatriarch
The only reason that anyone followed us fools into Afghanistan is to assuage the raging brat that is my country. We really need to learn a lesson, a deep and hard one, one day. I just hope it will not be a devastating one that explodes in our face like some firecracker we are playing pyromaniac with. As long as other countries and people's cannot detach themselves from the sweet sweet nectar of America's abundance and rabid, insane consumerism nothing will change and people should all STFU about not liking America.

German soldiers mean nothing when it placates Congress Creatures' sense of control and domain. German soldiers will be brought home when the time is right without stirring up too much conservative rage in the USA and the bleeding hearts in Germany can be backed off from doing good. It's not like Germany's involvement in AFG had anything to do with military training or experience. Germany's military is a joke and it's people have been emasculated to a point of self-destruction.
19:25 February 24, 2012 by raandy
gurudev what are you smoking? afghanistan seems really volatile to me.!! couldn't get much worse dude
20:11 February 24, 2012 by scoobydube
As an American AND a former member of the USAF, I agree that we(the US and NATO/OTAN)should LEAVE that MISRABLE country SOONER then LATER. They have been at each other's throats for centuries and the ISAF-A SHOULD NOT have gotten involved there. After TEN (FAILED) years of SOVIET attempt to "PACIFY" those SAVAGES we have failed ALSO. Let's make like GOOD shepards and "GET THE FLOCK OUT OF THERE" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
22:32 February 24, 2012 by Dizz
You're all correct of course. And you can leave as soon as you get all your "model deomcracies" back from the hands of the unelected military-industrial nexus. Round after round of budget increases for the military. A torrent of unsanctioned money for secret ops. Blackwater. The oil pipeline that this is always really been about. So you kick the beehive to get at the honey and now you're indignant about getting stung. Real smart.
01:30 February 25, 2012 by Deutschguy
Chevron execs brought the Taliban leadership (?) to Houston, hoping to convince them to cooperate and help guarantee peace while the pipeline was built. Negotiations fell apart, not surprisingly. That was well before 9-11.

After 9-11, Bush Jr./Cheney used that event to invade Afgh., and then, more incompetently and a definite overreach, invade Iraq. The US generals who advised just to bomb the Taliban in Afgh. and forget Iraq were fired or demoted. They knew the mission was a quagmire, that Karzai was unstable, and that no amount of nation building would work there. Even the Russians said, "Don't go there."

We're dealing with a populace that is incredibly backward who are manipulated by mullahs and imams intent on stirring up conflict. However, you'd think US soldiers and the command would know better than to burn Korans in front of Afghani Muslims who work on base. Amazing that those books were not given to Muslim religious authorities to dispose of, so as not to cause this unnecessary blowup.
10:06 February 25, 2012 by Yah right

Why is it necessary to do a Dresden bombing before leaving? When you say there is nothing of value there, I assume you are also referring to human life? Newborn babies and young children?

Why don't you join the militar, carlm, an d use your poisonous hatred there? Maybe you could even manage to get yourself shot, in the face, so that you are unable to run our vicious mouth.

You are sickening, carlm. You are disgusting in your attitudes. You make humanity look very bad!
10:09 February 25, 2012 by SkidLives
The west ignored them before and let them "work it out amongst themselves". We then discovered what effective guided missiles Boeing jets can be.
13:12 February 25, 2012 by Deutschguy
@skidLives: We knew from written and eavesdropped intel that they wanted to use planes as missiles. The Bush Jr. admin let the guard down and ignored explicit warnings.

Pres. Clinton told the incoming Bush admin. that al-Queda was a specific threat, but the Cheneyites dismissed those warnings, and said, no, building a star wars missile defense would be the new priority. Then, as soon as Clinton left office, they began to dismantle counter-terrorism programs that had provided that info on al-Queda.

That Boeing jets could be effective guided missiles was explicitly known about. Our government on 9-11 failed us by ignoring that warning, the factual advice, and the urgent appeals from our own security apparatus.

It wasn't "ignoring" them that allowed 9-11 to happen. It was incompetence.
14:50 February 25, 2012 by ron1amr
I heard there is opium in Afghanistan. Which means a lot of money. Who really cares about any burning of books? 300 people protested is this a big number? I don't think I will ever read the Koran but my uneducated guess I get the feeling there is a lot of oppression in the book. Why can't people lead the life of today and not from some book written so long ago it is not relevant to todays living?
15:44 February 25, 2012 by SkidLives
Deutschguy Clinton had multiple opportunities to shut down Al-Qaeda but chose not to act against them. I put more responsibility on the CIC who was in office for 8 years than the one who was in office for 8 months. The scheme to attack the towers took several years to develop. On 4.December, 1998, Clinton received intelligence that Al-Qaeda was preparing to hijack aircraft. (pg 128 9-11 Comm.Report) He had 2 years to act, but chose to kick the can down the street. This was another example of his policy of non-response, as when our East African embassies were blown up and the Cole was attacked. Even Obama would have acted; as he is the assassination king at the moment, he would have eliminated Bin Laden before he could follow through with the organization and funding of the 9-11 attack. In fact, Deutschguy, you would do us all a service if you would read the 9-11 comm. report before you spew these inaccuracies. The Bush administration certainly made some mistakes, but they held over CT director Richard Clarke for his expertise and increased both the number and budgets of counter-terrorism programs. Get your facts straight, revisionism isn't necessary.
17:00 February 25, 2012 by Deutschguy
@skid: I have read the report, more than once. You are the one engaging in revisionism.

When Clinton took action to bomb a suspected al-Queda location, he was roundly criticized by the GOP and conservative media as trying to deflect attention away from all the fake scandals thrown at him.

You mistake Clarke's position and belief about the Cheney admin's responsibility: "Counterterrorism ¦quot;tsar¦quot; Richard Clarke . . . suggested that 9/11 might have been stopped ¦quot;if [National Security Adviser] Rice and the president had acted personally, gotten involved, shaken the trees, gotten the Cabinet members involved when they had ample warning in June and July and August that something was about to happen.… [Rice] said that the president received 40 warnings face to face from the director of central intelligence that a major al-Qaeda attack was going to take place and she admitted that the president did not have a meeting on the subject, did not convene the Cabinet."

So, over 40 warnings and the PDB about precisely what was going to happen and no action. Nothing but incompetence. And certainly nothing that Clinton could have done anything about, at that point. He told them to watch, and they didn't.
21:38 February 25, 2012 by karldehm
Ditch Afghanistan as fast as we can. It's pointless to try to help those you don't want our help. I have no problem in letting them kill each other as long they leave the rest of the world alone. Maybe, if they are busy killing each other they won't be so busy making heroin.

Away, the USA will need our help in Iran when they or the Israelis attacks it..
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