Broadcast Date: 03 Mar. 2012
Angry protests have swept across Afghanistan after it emerged copies of the Holy Qur’an were deliberately destroyed by soldiers.
Some Afghans and at least two American soldiers have died during a number of violent reactions despite apologies from US President Barack Obama, US Ambassador Ryan Crocker and various NATO chiefs.
Obama said the incident was unintentional and pledged a full investigation while Afghanistan’s leader Hamid Karzai told members of parliament that a US officer was responsible for the burning and that it was done “out of ignorance”.
The incident at the US military base at Bagram north of Kabul is not the first case of Qur’anic abuse by NATO forces and assurances have now been given that all 130,000 foreign troops serving in Afghanistan would be trained within the next two weeks on how to identify, store and handle religious material.
But this is not the first time the actions of NATO troops have shocked Afghans into reacting violently.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) is currently heading a major inquiry, into a video showing a number of US Marines urinating on the bodies of Afghan dead in the province of Helmand last year.