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22 Feb, 2012 23:20

Burning of Koran is ‘America’s worst PR disaster in Afghanistan’

Seven people have been killed and dozens injured in protests over the burning of the Koran by US troops at an airbase in Afghanistan. An officer has apologized for the inadvertent burning. Yet some are saying apologies will not work here.

Zaid Hamid, a defence analyst at the independent think tank BrassTacks, thinks that the incident is a total nightmare for the Americans, as it may now turn local former allies against them.“So far they have been facing the resistance from the Pashtun elements, but incidents like these are actually galvanizing the non-Pashtun elements. The Tajiks, the Khazars and the Uzbeks, who were supposedly allied to the Americans so far, are turning hostile,” he told RT. “[The incident] will extend and expand the base of the resistance against Americans.”In situations like this, Hamid added, apologies do not tend to work. “This is the worst PR disaster that the Americans could have at this moment, when they are at the most vulnerable,” he concluded.The demonstrations have prompted the US to lock down its embassy in the capital, Kabul, and bar its staff from traveling.