US apologises over Afghan Quran burning

February 22nd, 2012 - 2:35 am ICT by IANS  

Taliban London, Feb 22 (IANS) US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has apologised to the people of Afghanistan for an incident in which copies of the Quran were reportedly burned, according to BBC.

Panetta said Tuesday the US military respected the religious practices of the Afghan people “without exception”.

The NATO commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John R. Allen of the US, has announced an inquiry into the incident.

News of the incident triggered angry protests outside the US base at Bagram, north of Kabul.

Panetta said he supported Allen’s decision to launch an inquiry.

“I will carefully review the final results of the investigation to ensure that we take all steps necessary and appropriate so that this never happens again,” he said.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the reports of Quran burning.

The Taliban said the incident would hurt the feelings “of one billion Muslims around the world”.

Reports said copies of the Quran had been found in piles of rubbish that NATO had transported in a lorry Monday night to a pit on the base where waste is burned.

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