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US punishes 6 soldiers for burning Quran in Afghanistan

August 28, 2012 11:49 IST

The United States will hand out administrative punishment to its six soldiers for their role in desecration of Holy Quran in Afghanistan early this year, an incident that had caused wide-spread protests and riots in the country and forced President Barack Obama to apologise.

The report of the investigation, conducted by a senior army official and released by the US Central Command on Monday, found some 100 Qurans and religious texts were burnt by US soldiers who found the holy literature being used by detainees for violent extremism.

The report by Army Brigadier General Bryan G Watson found that US servicemen mishandled the Muslim holy book and other religious materials, to include their disposal at an incinerator.

Noting that the "tragic incident" took place due to poor communication between "leaders and commands" and "lack of involvement of any senior leader", the probe, however, "rejected" any suggestion that those involved acted with malicious intent to disrespect the Quran of defame the faith of Islam, the report said.

It also blamed junior and mid-grade leaders of "choosing the easy way" instead of the "right way" to address a problem and found distrust among service members and their ignorance with respect to the importance and handling of Quran as well as other religious material as other key reasons behind the incident.

The report also noted that the US service members did not listen to the advice of soldiers from the Afghan National Army.

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