US probe finds no 'malicious intent' by soldiers accused of burning Korans in Afghanistan

Kabul, Aug. 28 (ANI): A U.S. military investigation into the burning of Korans in Afghanistan has concluded that there was no 'malicious intent' on the part of the soldiers allegedly involved in the incident.

The report blamed miscommunications, ignorance about the handling of Korans and a failure to provide clear guidance to the soldiers.

Investigators found that service members 'mishandled' Korans and other religious material and put them in an incinerator.

According to the Herald Sun, the investigation concluded that there was no 'malicious intent'.

It also said the service members mistakenly interpreted a commander's order to get rid of the books as permission to take them to the burn pit.

Only one of the service members assigned to transport the books to the burn pit knew they were carrying religious books.

According to the report, after commanders at the detention centre realised a mistake was being made, the troops they dispatched to stop the burning went to the wrong location and did not find the truck with the books.

The burning of more than 300 Korans and other religious books at a U.S. base in Afghanistan early this year triggered riots and retribution killings.

The US Army announced that six soldiers had received 'administrative' punishments, but they will not face any criminal charges, Herald Sun reports.

According to the report, officials believed prisoners were using the Korans and other religious books to exchange secret messages.

The religious books and other materials were put in burn bags and were taken to a fire pit used to burn rubbish, the report said.

More than 2000 books, including about 1200 religious texts and Korans, were targeted for disposal, but most were saved when an angry crowd of Afghans intervened, the report added. (ANI)