The White House has joined the chorus of apologies over what's said to be an accidental desecration of Korans at a United States military base in Afghanistan.
Soldiers at Bagram Air Base believed Taliban prisoners were using the Korans to communicate with each other, possibly with extremist messages. As a result, the soldiers confiscated several of the Islamic holy books and destroyed them.
But burning or mistreating the Koran is considered a desecration to Muslims.
"This was a deeply unfortunate incident that does not reflect the great respect our military has for the religious practices of the Afghan people," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday.
Carney called the Koran burnings "unintentional actions." The Pentagon and State Department also apologized for the event.
Officials say there have been some 2,000 demonstrators around Bagram Air Base since the incident.
An investigation is underway into whether NATO officials exercised "misjudgment" or knowingly gave the order to destroy Korans.