3 Mar 2012

Public trial demanded over Koran burnings

11:12 am on 3 March 2012

A council of clerics in Afghanistan is demanding those responsible for burning copies of the Koran on a NATO base be tried in public.

The BBC reports more than 30 civilians and six American troops have been killed in protests since reports emerged last month that copies of the Muslim holy book were burned at the Bagram military base near Kabul.

US officials have said that the Korans were confiscated from prisoners on the base and mistakenly discarded in an incinerator, where Afghan labourers found charred remains.

A statement issued by the office of President Hamid Karzai after a meeting with the council, said the clerics saw the matter as an evil act that must be punished.

The clerics said the administration of the prison at Bagram did not treat religious material with respect. They demanded the closure of prisons

run by foreigners.