FLASH: Military investigation wraps up in Koran burnings
Up to 100 Korans and other religious materials were burned in the February incident in Afghanistan, a U.S. military investigation concluded on Monday. The U.S. Military investigation rejected any suggestion that the soldiers involved had malicious intent to defame Islam.
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The U.S. military is expected to announce disciplinary action on Monday in response to two incidents that provoked outrage in Afghanistan early this year, one over a video depicting Marines urinating on corpses and another involving burning copies of the Koran, U.S. officials said.
The Army was expected to announce that six soldiers would receive administrative punishments over an incident in which copies of the Koran and other religious material were removed from a prison library and sent to an incinerator to be destroyed, a U.S. official said on condition of anonymity.
The incident in February touched off several days of rioting and attacks on U.S. troops after local workers found charred copies of the Koran among the trash at the incinerator at the Bagram base north of Kabul.
Smoke rises from burning NATO supply trucks in Samangan province, July 18, 2012.
A bomb planted by the Taliban destroyed 22 NATO trucks carrying supplies to their forces in northern Afghanistan, the Taliban and police said on Wednesday. [REUTERS/Stringer]
FULL FOCUS: The best Reuters images from the past 24 hours
An Afghan man with mental health problems shields his face from the camera as he is chained to a wall of a room at the Mia Ali Baba shrine, in line with a traditional belief that spending 40 days chained in isolation at the shrine can cure the illness, in Jalalabad July 9, 2012.
Afghanistan is struggling to fight the mental health problems that afflict some of the population after decades of violence, according to Abdul Rasool, an official from the health department of Jalalabad province. REUTERS/Parwiz
The Milky Way shines in the sky behind a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle parked at the entry to Forward Operating Base (FOB) Goode near the town of Gardez in Afghanistan’s Paktia Province July 9, 2012. [REUTERS/Lucas Jackson]
Pakistani authorities have sentenced a doctor accused of helping the CIA find Osama bin Laden to 33 years in jail on charges of treason, officials said, a move almost certain to further strain ties between Washington and Islamabad.
Shakil Afridi was accused of running a fake vaccination campaign, in which he collected DNA samples, that is believed to have helped the American intelligence agency track down bin Laden in a Pakistani town.
The al Qaeda chieftain was killed in a unilateral U.S. special forces raid in the town of Abbottabad in May last year.
“Dr Shakil has been sentenced to 33 years imprisonment and a fine of 320,000 Pakistani rupees ($3,477),” said Mohammad Nasir, a government official in the northwestern city of Peshawar, where the jail term will be served. He gave no further details.
Afridi is the first person to be sentenced by Pakistani authorities in the bin Laden case.
An Army captain who collapsed and died in Afghanistan while communicating with his wife over Skype was not shot and his body showed no immediate evidence of trauma beyond minor abrasions, an Army spokesman said on Monday.
The Virginia-based U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) said its investigation into Captain Bruce Clark’s May 1 death is continuing.
“Although we have not completely ruled it out to ensure a complete and thorough investigation is conducted, we do not suspect foul play in the death of Captain Clark at this point in our ongoing investigation,” said CID spokesperson Chris Grey.
Clark’s family released two statements over the weekend on his death, according to USA Today.
First there is the phone call. It’s a quiet Sunday afternoon in Washington when the phone rings. “Can you be at the White House for a meeting in four hours? I can’t tell you why, but we need you to be there.”
Hmmm … I’ve seen this show before, and I pretty much know what the deal is. President Obama is going to be traveling somewhere unsavory and everything about it will be Top Secret until he lands at his mystery destination.
A beautiful weekend here in the D.C. area is instantly transformed from worrying about my son’s soccer games to worrying about where I am going, how long I will be gone and what preparations must I make before departure? The wheels are already churning before the White House meeting that evening.
As soon as we walk into the meeting, we are told: our destination is Afghanistan. Purpose: to sign a strategic partnership agreement. Coincidentally, or not, it is the one year anniversary of the killing of Osama Bin Laden.
U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker upon his arrival at Bagram Air Base in Kabul, Afghanistan May 1, 2012. [REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque]