News Column

Troops to Be Disciplined for Koran Burnings

Aug. 27, 2012

Nine U.S. service members await disciplinary action in two incidents that led to violence in Afghanistan, including the burning of copies of the Koran.

The punishment to be administered Monday won't include criminal charges or a prison sentence, nor is it the public trial Afghan President Hamid Karzai sought, The Washington Post reported.

Besides the Koran-burning incident at the military base, military personnel were disciplined in an incident involving a video of four Marines urinating on dead militants.

A military investigation of the Koran burnings found six U.S. soldiers at Bagram Airfield were derelict but meant no ill-will when they boxed copies of the Koran and other religious books to go to a landfill to be burned. The investigation also determined the service personnel didn't follow proper procedure when they ordered prison library books destroyed, military officials said.

Both incidents led to violence in Afghanistan, including several deaths.

U.S. military officials said Karzai was briefed about the investigations and their findings. To try to blunt any possible backlash in Afghanistan, coalition officials spent several days talking to political and religious leaders in advance of the announcement.

Source: Copyright United Press International 2012

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