2,000+ angry Afghans gathered outside a US airbase to protest against the inadvertent burning of Korans and other Islamic religious
materials. The items are thought to have been burned as part of routine disposal of rubbish at the base. The books were previously used by detainees and were no longer required.
US Gen John Allen, the top commander in Afghanistan, apologised and ordered an investigation into the incident, which he was not intentional in any way.
The incident stoked anti-foreign sentiment that already is on the rise after nearly a decade of war in Afghanistan and fuelled the arguments of Afghans who believe foreign troops are not respectful of their culture or Islamic religion.
As word of the incident spread, about 100 demonstrators gathered outside the Bagram Air Field, north of Kabul in Parwan province this morning. As the crowd grew, so did the outrage. Die, die, foreigners! the demonstrators shouted. Some
fired hunting guns into the air. Others threw rocks at the gate of the base.
Update: Violence Intensifies
25th February 2012. See article
Thousands of enraged Afghans have taken to the streets for a fourth day, after US soldiers inadvertently set fire to copies of the Koran.
In the deadliest day of unrest so far, at least 12 people died across the country, as mobs charged at US bases and diplomatic missions.
More than 20 people have been killed since the unrest began, including two US soldiers who died on Thursday.
President Barack Obama has apologised for the Koran-burning incident. In a letter to his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai, Obama said the books had been unintentionally mishandled .
Update: Violence Continues
27th February 2012. See article
Protests continued in Afghan cities and spread to Pakistan yesterday after the US admitted that copies of the Koran were accidentally burned by US forces at Bagram airbase.
The worst trouble was in Kunduz province, where a peaceful rally turned violent as marchers tried to enter the district's largest city.
Amanuddin Quriashi, the district administrator, said some in the crowd fired at police and threw grenades at a US base on the city's outskirts. Seven Nato troops were wounded and one protester died when soldiers fired back from the US base. Another
protester was killed by Afghan police.
Update: Violent Revenge
28th February 2012. See article
A Taliban suicide car bomber has killed at least nine people and wounded 10 others in an attack at Jalalabad airport in eastern Afghanistan.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said in an email to media: This attack is revenge against those soldiers who burned our Koran.
Update: Shameful UN call for a sacrificial lamb
8th March 2012. See article
The UN Special Representative for Afghanistan, Ján Kubiš, has called for the US military to take disciplinary action against those who burned Korans at Bagram air base.
After the first step of a profound apology, there must be a second step of disciplinary action, Kubis spewed.
Update: Soldiers to face punishment but not criminal charges
22nd June 2012. See article
A military investigation is recommending that seven U.S. soldiers are punished for the burning of Korans.
They face administrative punishments, but not criminal charges, following the incident four months ago at a U.S. base in Afghanistan. Punishments can range from a letter in their file to docking their pay or assigning them additional duties.
U.S. military officials said the classified report and recommendations for disciplinary action against the service members involved were delivered to the Pentagon more than a week ago.
The lack of any criminal charges being taken is because military officials feel the incident was regrettable, but a mistake.
The decision is likely to anger Afghans who were enraged by the burning. Thousands took to the streets across the country in deadly riots after it happened. More than 30 people were killed in the clashes, including two U.S. troops who were shot
by an Afghan soldier. Two U.S. military advisers were also gunned down at their desks at the Interior Ministry.