Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Canada’s embassy in Kabul suspends all meetings as Koran-burning protests spread

Canada’s embassy in Kabul has suspended all meetings at Afghan ministries as violent protests over last week’s Koran burnings continue to spread across Afghanistan. All Canadian staff — including diplomats, police, and Canadian Forces trainers and advisers — are safe and accounted for, said Yohan Rodericks, a spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs. “We issued our normal security protocol and everyone is staying put at their locations,” Rodericks said. The suspension of meetings is a temporary measure, Rodericks said, and the government of Canada continues to monitor the situation closely. Two U.S. officers were killed at the Afghanistan interior ministry on Saturday — a move which led NATO to pull all its advisers out of government ministries — and on Sunday seven more U.S. officers were injured in a grenade attack on their base. The protests have killed 30 people and wounded 200. More than 900 Canadian military advisers are scattered across more than a dozen bases in Kabul and western Afghanistan. On Thursday, Foreign Affairs advised Canadians to avoid all travel to Afghanistan as “the security situation remains extremely volatile and unpredictable.”


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