Afghan and US reports fail to agree on Koran burning
Monday 05 March 2012
Conflicting conclusions appear to have emerged from two inquiries into the burning of the Koran at Bagram airbase, amid reports that British war graves in Libya were desecrated in retaliation for the mishandling of the holy book.
The burning of the Koran by Nato troops has sparked riots and violence across Afghanistan and the Muslim world. It prompted an apology from the head of foreign forces in Afghanistan, General John Allen, and President Barack Obama, who expressed regret in a letter to President Hamid Karzai.
Yesterday, early findings of a joint investigation ordered by General Allen, and conducted by senior US and Afghan officials, suggested that at least five servicemen played a role in discarding the Korans in a burn pit at Bagram, but their actions were a mistake. A separate probe, ordered by Mr Karzai and carried out by religious leaders, found that US soldiers lied and burned the Korans on purpose.
An unidentified Western source told the Associated Press (AP) news agency that when prison officials became aware that detainees were scribbling extremist messages into library books, including copies of the Koran, they ordered two Afghan-American interpreters to search the library. They seized 1,652 items that were to be destroyed owing to lack of storage.
Before the books could be disposed of properly, three soldiers removed the items and put them in a pit to be burned, without knowing what the items were. Charred items, including Korans, were found by Afghan workers on 20 February. The soldiers may now face disciplinary action.
Meanwhile, video film emerged yesterday of armed men vandalising more than 200 Second World Ward graves of British and Italian servicemen in Benghazi, Libya, last week. The British embassy in Tripoli reported the matter of the Libyan foreign ministry and police. The National Transitional Council said the damage was "unethical, irresponsible and criminal" and vowed to investigate.
Islamic hardliners were blamed for the vandalism, with the AFP agency citing reports which suggested they were angered by the burning of the Koran at Bagram.
- 1 Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 5 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Howard 'Mr Nice' Marks reveals he has inoperable cancer: 'I've had an incredible life'
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
£12000 - £14400 per annum: Tradewind Recruitment: Experienced Cover Supervisor...
£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company are proud to be on...
£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...
£20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...