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Quran burning: US probe for punishment of troops

June 21, 2012 14:46 IST

A US military investigation has recommended disciplinary actions against culprits involved in the Quran burning incident in Afghanistan early this year, the Pentagon has said.

"The results from the investigation concerning allegations that US service members improperly disposed of Islamic religious material at Parwan is complete. It has been forwarded to the related services for disposition and any service-specific actions," Pentagon Press Secretary George Little told reporters.

The ISAF, he said, has worked diligently to understand what happened and to ensure that incidents of this sort do not occur again.

"General Allen instituted training to ensure that our troops understand how to identify religious text and how to properly treat them in theater. And that process has been ongoing since this incident," he said.

Little hoped that the services would be able to take quick action on the report, noting that there is no specific time table for this.

The investigation into the incident was carried out by General John Allen, Commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, which has now been forwarded to the US Central Command. This was a truly unfortunate incident and in no way reflects any broader trend within the US military, he said.

"I would be very hesitant to suggest that this, in any way, points to a broader trend inside the US military. The vast majority of our troops have profound respect for Islam. Millions of US troops have been deployed to places like Afghanistan and Iraq," he said.

The military is at war with our terrorist and insurgent enemies and not with any particular religion, he said.

Little, however, refrained from releasing any information related to the incident till each service has completed its review and any potential actions.

"We have made clear from the beginning that it's our belief that while this was a truly unfortunate episode, it was inadvertent and in no way reflected any malice or disrespect toward the Islamic religion," he said.

Little said US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has been briefed on the progress of the investigations.

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