More than 2,000 Afghans protested at a U.S. military air base over reports that foreign troops desecrated copies of the Koran.
Some of the books, which had been used by detainees, were thrown in the trash after they were no longer being used.
Outraged by the incident, demonstrators shouted "Die, die foreigners."
"They should leave Afghanistan rather than disrespecting our religion, our faith," protestor Mohammad Hakim said.
"They have to leave, and if next time they disrespect our religion, we will defend our holy Koran, religion, and faith until the last drop of blood has left in our body," he vowed.
"We Afghans don't want these Christians and infidels, they are the enemy of our soil, our honor, and our Koran," Reuters quoted another protestor, Haji Shirin.
Gen. John Allen, the U.S. commander of NATO troops in Afghanistan, has apologized for the incident.
"When we learned of these actions, we immediately intervened and stopped them. The materials recovered will be properly handled by appropriate religious authorities," Allen said.
"This was NOT intentional in any way," he added.
"I offer my sincere apologies for any offense this may have caused, to the president of Afghanistan, the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and most importantly, to the noble people of Afghanistan," Allen said.
The U.S. has launched an investigation into the incident.