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Deadly protests 'must stop': Hillary

27 February, 2012

RABAT: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Sunday that deadly protests in Afghanistan over the desecration of the holy Quran by US soldiers "must stop".

"We deeply regret the incident that has led to this protest, but we also believe that violence must stop and the hard work for building a more peaceful and secure Afghanistan must continue," she told a news conference during a visit to the Moroccan capital Rabat.

In an interview with CNN, Clinton said criticism of US President Barack Obama's apology for the desecration was not helpful. "I find it somewhat troubling that our politics would inflame such a dangerous situation in Afghanistan," Clinton said of the complaints by Republican presidential candidates and some experts about Obama's apology.

"It was the right thing to do to have our president on record as saying this was not intentional, we deeply regret it," Clinton said.

Meanwhile, the White House said Obama had backed steps by NATO's commander in Afghanistan to protect US service members there after the killing of two US officers in the Afghan Interior Ministry, and welcomed Afghan President Hamid Karzai's call for calm in Afghanistan.

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