U.S. Gen. John Allen, the top commander of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, said after the books had been mistakenly given to troops to be burned at a garbage pit without realizing it. “It was not a decision that was made because they were religious materials,” Allen said Tuesday, one day after Afghan workers at the garbage pit found the books. “It was not a decision that was made with respect to the faith of Islam. It was a mistake. It was an error. The moment we found out about it we immediately stopped and we intervened.” – CBS News
The Qurans were removed from a library in the Parwan Detention Facility and unintentionally burned at Bagram Air Field. According to reports from a military official, they contained extremist messages, though what that means no one has specified yet, an investigation pending.
Jay Carney said it was a “deeply unfortunate incident,” with an official apology offered to the Afghan people from the U.S. military yesterday.
However, today, all hell broke loose.
Violent protests left at least five dead and others wounded Wednesday as demonstrations over Quran burning intensified in Afghanistan. Police killed four people and wounded 10 others during protests in Parwan province, said Abdul Wassi Sayedkhili, a provincial council official. Health officials said a fifth person died and 10 others wounded in eastern Nangarhar province.