Koran-burning probe finds 5 U.S. troops involved
Afghan demonstrators shout anti-U.S. slogans during a protest against Koran desecration in Kunduz, Afghanistan, Feb. 25, 2012. / AFP/Getty Images
(CBS/AP) A joint U.S.-Afghan investigation found that five American soldiers were directly involved in the burning of Muslim holy books at an American base late last month, CBS News confirms.
The joint investigation found that the five soldiers, who have not been named publicly, moved the Korans from where they were being stored near Kabul at the Parwan Detention Facility to the burn pit at Bagram Air Field, which adjoins the prison. It won't result in any action against the soldiers. Any action taken will be the result of a U.S. Army investigation, which is ongoing.
President Obama, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Marine Gen. John Allen, the top commander in Afghanistan, have apologized for the burnings, which they said were a mistake. But their apologies did not quell the anger of Afghans, who say the incident illustrates foreigners' disrespect for their culture and religion.
U.S. military officials have said the Korans and other Islamic texts removed from the detention center's library had extremist inscriptions.
The joint investigation's finding comes as a council of Afghanistan's top religious leaders on Friday reportedly rejected the U.S. apology and demanded those responsible be prosecuted and punished.
In a statement issued after a meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the religious leaders strongly condemned the Feb. 20 incident, which sparked six days of deadly protests. During the demonstrations, six U.S. troops were killed by Afghan security forces or militants disguised in their uniforms.
"Those who committed this crime must be publicly tried and punished," the clerics said in the statement, according to the Reuters news agency.
"The council strongly condemns this crime and inhumane, savage act by American troops by desecrating holy books of the Koran."
Popular on CBSNews.com
- Boat hijack stokes tension between N. Korea, China
- China probes rice tainted with cancer-causing cadmium
- Hezbollah suffers heavy losses fighting inside Syria
- Lebanon reportedly stopping Syria refugees at border
- Israel and Syria exchange fire on Golan Heights
- Syria activists: 31 Hezbollah fighters killed in Qusair
- Russia shows accused U.S. spy heading home
- Some Swedish youth riot over police shooting death