US apologizes to Afghans for Quran burning

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is apologizing for the burning of Muslim holy books in a pile of garbage at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan.

Press secretary Jay Carney says it was a "deeply unfortunate incident" that does not reflect the respect the U.S. military has for the religious practices of the Afghans.

Carney echoed military officials Tuesday in saying that the Quran burning at Bagram Air Field happened unintentionally, and an investigation was being undertaken to understand why it did and ensure it would not happen again.

A Western military official said the Qurans were removed from a library at a nearby detention center because they contained extremist messages. Carney did not address those specifics, referring questions to defense officials.

He said the administration was following the matter closely.

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