Obama says Afghan apology calmed anti-US violence

WASHINGTON (AP) ? President Barack Obama says his apology to Afghan President Hamid Karzai (HAH’-mihd KAHR’-zeye) after U.S. forces accidentally burned Muslim Qurans has “calmed things down.”

But Obama tells ABC News that “we’re not out of the woods yet.”

Muslim protests over the burnings have ebbed this week. But the killings of two U.S. military officers in Afghanistan came after Obama’s apology last week. Obama says he apologized to assuage Afghan anger and protect U.S. forces. Four U.S. service members have been killed in apparent retaliation for the Quran burning.

Obama did not say so, but the apology also helps address the political needs of the mercurial Karzai and turn the page in a sometimes difficult relationship.

GOP rivals seized on the unusual presidential apology as a sign of weakness.