Two U.S. officers were killed in an attack by Taliban militants inside the Afghan Interior Ministry headquarters in Kabul on Saturday, U.S. media reported.
A Taliban spokesman said the attack was in retaliation for the burning of Quran copies at the U.S. Bagram Air Base near Kabul earlier this week, CNN reported.
The two officers were found dead in their office with gunshot wounds to the head, the report quoted an Afghan official as saying.
Zabiullah Mujahid, the Taliban spokesman, said the gunman, identified as Abdul Rahman, was “still alive and resisting.” Another militant involved in the attack managed to escape the ministry building, he added.
The attack prompted Gen. John Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), to order all military advisers with the ISAF to withdraw from government ministries in the Afghan capital as a safety precaution, the report said.
Saturday marked the fifth day of angry protests against the burning of Qurans that swept across Afghanistan following the Monday incident. U.S. President Barack Obama, top ISAF and Pentagon officials have apologized for the burning, calling in a “mistake” and promising to punish those responsible.
Military officials say at least 20 people have died in the protests.