Thousands of Afghans stormed Bagram Air Base in protest on Tuesday, angered over reports that U.S. troops had improperly disposed of copies of the Koran by burning them, the Washington Post reported.
Details were scarce and there were conflicting reports of how many books were destroyed – or even if any were burned at all, the Post reported. However, Gen. John R. Allen, the top U.S. military officer in Afghanistan, offered a public apology and launched an investigation.
“I have ordered an investigation into a report I received during the night that ISAF personnel at Bagram Airbase improperly disposed of a large number of Islamic religious materials which included Korans,” Allen wrote in a statement. “When we learned of these actions, we immediately intervened and stopped them. The materials recovered will be properly handled by appropriate religious authorities.
“We are thoroughly investigating the incident and we are taking steps to ensure this does not ever happen again. I assure you...I promise you...this was NOT intentional in any way.”