Afghanistan Koran Burning: Investigators Recommend Administrative Punishments

Jun 19, 2012 7:14pm

Military investigators, called in after the burning of Korans at a U.S. base in Afghanistan earlier this year, have recommended that as many as seven U.S. military service members face administrative punishments for their role in the incident.  They are not recommending criminal charges, according to several Defense officials.

A Defense official says as many as six Army soldiers and one sailor face administrative punishments that could range from letters of reprimand to reductions in pay.

Several Defense officials say the investigation’s results have been forwarded to the Army and Navy secretaries.  It will be up to them to determine if they will agree with the investigation’s recommendations or decide if a tougher or lighter punishment is in order.   A Defense official says the investigation’s recommendations for disciplinary action are “pending review” and no decisions have been made.

In February, the burning of Korans in a garbage pit set off rioting in Afghanistan and was likely the reason for the subsequent killings of two Army officers.   At the time Gen. John Allen, the top NATO commander in Afghanistan, apologized for the incident. Officials labeled it inadvertent.

In the wake of the incident, NATO instituted new training so troops in Afghanistan could learn about the proper handling of religious materials.

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