US decries Kabul balst, fears contagion
19 September, 2012
WASHINGTON: The United States Tuesday condemned a suicide bombing in Kabul which killed 12 people, most of them South Africans, and voiced fears anti-US anger was spreading to target other nations.
"We condemn the attack that took place in Kabul. We offer our deepest condolences to the families and the loved ones," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, confirming no US citizens were involved.
Security officials said nine foreigners -- eight from South Africa -- were among those killed on a major highway leading to Kabul airport when the bomber blew her station wagon up alongside a minivan carrying foreign workers.
The bombing brings to more than 30 the number of people whose killings have been linked to the backlash over a trailer for the film "Innocence of Muslims," produced by a small group of US-based extremist Christians.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had spoken with President Hamid Karzai last week after a militant attack on the US offices in Benghazi left four US diplomatic staff dead.
"Among other things, I think we were concerned about this just kind of contagion, if you will," Nuland told journalists.
Nuland said the United States was concerned about militant groups using their anger at the video to promote a varied agenda.
"We're seeing a lot of piling on, we're seeing a lot of extremist activity trying to exploit the sentiments from this video, to gin up folks to violence and try to use that as an excuse for things that might otherwise have been planned for their otherwise rejectionist agendas."
She pointed to issues such as calls by Hezbollah in Lebanon for demonstrations, and calls to action by Al-Qaeda.
There were also fears that the wave of anger in the Islamic world could spread to Europe as French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo confirmed that its latest edition contains more such offensive material.
The publication's editor said the edition due to hit the streets on Wednesday would "shock those who will want to be shocked."