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 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 3 The Simpsons death: Creator Al Jean would 'kill himself' before character like Homer or Lisa
- 4 British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
Isis an hour away from Baghdad - with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin wedding: The famous congratulate actor and human rights lawyer after Venice nuptials
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
'Women, walk wherever you want' posters taken down in Stamford Hill following 'unacceptable' signs separating men and women
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
- < Previous
- Next >
£330 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Lond...
£18000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...
£24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...