US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, in a telephone conversation with his Afghan counterpart Abdul Rahim Wardak on Saturday, urged the Afghan government to take decisive action to protect foreign forces after two American military officers were killed during anti-US protests.
"Minister Wardak said that President (Hamid) Karzai was assembling the religious leaders, parliamentarians, justices of the Supreme Court, and other senior Afghan officials to take urgent steps to do so (protect US forces)," claimed George Little, a Pentagon spokesman.
The two high-ranking US officials were killed on Saturday, the 5th consecutive day of anti-US protests, in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul.
The incident took place after shooting broke out at the Afghan Interior Ministry building in Kabul, leaving an American colonel and a major dead.
Following the incident, the US reportedly ordered all American advisors to evacuate the ministry.
The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the two deaths, saying it was in revenge for the burning of the Qur’an at a US military base -- an incident that forced US President Barack Obama to apologize to the Afghan people.
President Hamid Karzai issued a statement urging the demonstrators and Afghan security forces to exercise restraint, saying the government was pressing Washington "on the need to bring to justice the perpetrators of the crime".