US troops punished over Qur'an burning

2012-08-29 11:01
Activists of Pakistani political and Islamic party Jammat-e-Islami (JI), hold up an effigy of the US President Barack Obama as they shout anti-US slogans during a protest in Peshawar over the burning of the Qur'an at a US-run military base in Afghani

Activists of Pakistani political and Islamic party Jammat-e-Islami (JI), hold up an effigy of the US President Barack Obama as they shout anti-US slogans during a protest in Peshawar over the burning of the Qur'an at a US-run military base in Afghani

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - The US military said on Monday it was disciplining US troops over two incidents that provoked outrage in Afghanistan early this year, one involving a video depicting Marines urinating on corpses and another over burned copies of the Qur'an.

The administrative punishments - which could include things like reduction of rank or forfeiture of pay - fell short of criminal prosecution, and it was unclear whether they would satisfy Afghan demands for justice.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai earlier this year branded the Marine's actions in the video as "inhuman", and he initially called for a public trial for the soldiers over the Qur'an incident.

A detailed US military investigation showed that up to 100 Qur'ans and other religious texts from a detention centre library - a previously undisclosed figure - were burned on 20 February.

The investigation found that warnings from Afghans, including an Afghan soldier, had been ignored and attributed the incident in part to distrust between Americans and Afghans.

"However, I absolutely reject any suggestion that those involved acted with any malicious intent to disrespect the Qur'an or defame the faith of Islam," the investigating officer, Brigadier General Bryan Watson, wrote.

Days of rioting


The question of distrust between American troops and Afghans has come into sharp focus in recent weeks due to a surge of "insider attacks", in which Afghans believed to be friendly turn their guns against US forces.

Such distrust has undermined confidence in a US drawdown strategy that relies on training Afghan forces - sometimes with very small numbers of Americans partnering with them in remote locations - so they can take over security.

Most US combat troops are expected to leave the country by the end of 2014.

The Qur'an-burning incident touched off several days of rioting and attacks on US troops after local workers found charred copies among the trash at an incinerator at the Bagram base north of Kabul.

At least 30 people died in the violence that spread across the country after the incident, and two American officers were shot dead in a secure area of the Afghan interior ministry, a crime that remains unsolved.

The US Army announced on Monday that six soldiers received administrative punishments over the incident, four of them officers and two of them non-commissioned officers, a spokesperson said.

Translator blamed

The investigation found that the texts were removed during a sweep of the library at Parwan detention facility due to concerns that detainees were using books to pass messages.

It partly blamed a translator who warned that up to 75% of the books were extremist in nature, including versions of the Qur'an, but did not instruct American forces how to properly dispose of the texts.

A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he believed the translator was an Afghan and that he no longer worked for the US military.

The disclosures about the Qur'an-burning incident came the same day the Marine Corps detailed its punishment over a video that surfaced on the internet in January.

It showed Marines urinating on the corpses of dead Taliban fighters. One can be heard saying, "Have a nice day, buddy."

The investigation showed that the incident actually took place on or around 27 July 2011, during a counter-insurgency operation in Afghanistan's Helmand province.

Identities not disclosed

Three Marines pleaded guilty to charges over the video, including one for "urinating on the body of a deceased Taliban soldier". Another wrongfully posed for a photo with human casualties, and the third lied about the incident to investigators.

Their identities were not disclosed, and the Marines said disciplinary actions against additional Marines would be announced at a later date.

Possible punishment includes reduction in rank, forfeiture of pay and punitive letters permanently placed in their records, the Marines said.

 

Read more on:    hamid karzai  |  us  |  afghanistan  |  religion
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
8 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

The rich will pay - Mpofu

The EFF in Gauteng will focus all its energy on improving the lives of the poor, the party's premier candidate Dali Mpofu says.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Watch what happened when we blindfolded Helen Zille and asked her to eat random things
13 days to elections - news you need to know
11 Julius Malema quotes you'll never forget
DA won't get 30% - Zille
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Century City - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Ratanga Road Southbound
    ROADWORKS - lane closure between Ocean Spirit Avenue and Century Boulevard (until mid April)
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Spine Road
    ROAD CLOSED between Weltevreden Drive and Seafarer Drive due to roadworks (until mid April)
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Mother’s Day special offers!

Spoil mom with these awesome specials that will warm her heart. Shop now!

Twisp – the smoking alternative

Buy any 2 refills for R250 and save R149. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Mother’s Day specials on appliances

Browse our range of Mother’s Day appliances to spoil and pamper mom. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900

The Blackberry Bold Touch 9900 is as the name says...

From R3565.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Treat yourself to something beautiful. You tend to put so much energy in making everything around you work harmoniously, and...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.