Obama apologizes over Koran burning at U.S. base in Afghanistan
Obama sends letter to Afghan President Karzai over burning of Korans at Bagram airbase near Kabul this week; seven died, dozens injured in protests over the desecration.
President Barack Obama sent a letter to Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday apologizing for the burning of copies of the Koran at U.S. military base in Afghanistan, the White House said.
Dozens of copies of the Koran belonging to local prisoners held at the military base were burned at Bagram airbase near Kabul this week.
"In the letter, delivered by Ambassador (Ryan) Crocker this afternoon in Kabul, the president also expressed our regret and apologies over the incident in which religious materials were unintentionally mishandled at Bagram Airbase ," White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said.
The burning of Korans has sparked fierce protests against U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan.
Some seven people died and dozens were injured on Wednesday in the protests, which broke out on Tuesday, and took place in outside Bagram airbase, and spread to other sites in the country, including outside the embassies of other western countries. In Kabul, protesters attacked a site where American citizens live.