U.S. Forces Burn Old Copies of the Koran

Officials claim it was a misunderstanding when the holy books were discarded.
2:24 | 02/21/12

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Transcript for U.S. Forces Burn Old Copies of the Koran
A big worry for the American military tonight all because of what they say was a cultural misunderstanding. Apparently US forces in Afghanistan decided to discard old copies of the Koran by burning them which Muslims would never do. Throngs of Muslims gathered to throw rocks and anger as the US race to come up with the -- kind of apology today. Did the US Stuart ABC's Martha Raddatz is tracking the still developing story. Okay. Their reaction from your kids was swift. Passionate in violent. Hundreds of protesters and wailing over the charred pages and dozens of the -- of -- -- -- book. Shouting death to America and starting careers of their own. But the American damage control was equally sweet within hours of the protests commander US in. International forces general John Allen issued a refuse apology. There was no intention by any member of -- staff. To defame the faith of Islam or to desecrate the precious religious materials of this from Washington a cascade of statements and apologies followed. From the secretary of defense State Department and the White House. This Begin at around 11 PM last night. US soldiers were replacing older Iran's used by detainees because they feared prisoners were secretly communicating through pages. The soldiers put the used to Iran's into an incineration -- apparently unaware that it was considered desecration. Afghans working on the base saw what was happening and pulled the books from the flames. The administration is clearly worried about a repeat of last year when the burning of a Koran by a Florida pastor. -- -- attack on the UN compound in Afghanistan. -- Muslims the -- on is the word of god and been Muslims -- desecrated. DC this as an attack on Islam and the gets angry and upset. It took -- -- is damaged it is supposed to be placed in a flowing river. Or buried like thousands are in this sacred -- in Pakistan. General -- has already ordered training for all military personnel in Afghanistan on the proper handling of religious material. To be completed in the next two weeks. And -- you can also expect these apologies to keep on coming.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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