US Apologises Over Koran Burning
American troops set fire to copies of the Koran at the main military base.
And this follows the Rev.Terry Jone’s burning the Koran in Florida.
US commander, General John Allen, apologised over reports US troops had “improperly disposed of a large number of Islamic religious materials which included Korans”.
He said he had ordered a full inquiry into the alleged incident.
“When we learned of these actions, we immediately intervened and stopped them,” he said. “The materials recovered will be properly handled by appropriate religious authorities.
“We are thoroughly investigating the incident and we are taking steps to ensure this does not ever happen again.“I assure you – I promise you this was not intentional in any way.”
US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta also apologised for the “inappropriate treatment” of copies of the Koran and promised a swift investigation.
Allen did not mention how the religious materials had been disposed of, but an AFP photographer was shown partly-burnt copies of the Koran said to have been saved from destruction by Afghan workers within the base.
A separate protest by around 500 people erupted in the Pul-e-Charkhi district of Kabul, near another major Nato base. Afghanistan is an extremely devout Islamic nation where an insult to the religion carries the death penalty. Similar protests in the past have turned violent.
Ten people were killed and several injured during several days of unrest last April after the burning of a Koran by American pastor Terry Jones in Florida.
This action has cost two Americans their lives.