US commander calls for calm in Afghanistan
KABUL - Agence France-Presse
US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, right, speaks with General John Allen, Commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). AFP PhotoThe commander of US-led forces in Afghanistan, General John Allen, called today for calm and restraint as fresh protests were expected over the burning of the Koran by his troops.
Fourteen people, including two American soldiers, have been killed in days of protests after news of the incident leaked out of Bagram airbase on Monday.
NATO's US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and the Afghan government are investigating the incident.
"I call on everyone throughout the country -- ISAF members and Afghans -- to exercise patience and restraint as we continue to gather the facts surrounding (the) incident," Allen said in a statement.
"Working together with the Afghan leadership is the only way for us to correct this major error and ensure that it never happens again," said Allen.
President Hamid Karzai's administration has also called for calm, saying further street unrest could be manipulated by the Taliban, a militant group waging an insurgency to bring down his government.
US President Barack Obama has apologised over the Koran burning and pledged that those responsible will be held to account.