Quran at Guantanamo Bay: newly disclosed incidents

U.S. military officials say no guard at the &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/20/91/368/15580_usa.html ' target=_blank>Guantanamo Bay prison for terror suspects flushed a detainee's Quran down the toilet, but they disclosed that a Muslim holy book was splashed with urine. In other newly disclosed incidents, a detainee's Quran was deliberately kicked and another's was stepped on.

On March 25, a detainee complained to guards that "urine came through an air vent" and splashed on him and his Quran. A guard admitted he was at fault, but a report released Friday evening offering new details about Quran mishandling incidents did not make clear whether the guard intended the result.

In another confirmed incident, water balloons thrown by prison guards caused an unspecified number of Qurans to get wet, and in a confirmed but ambiguous case, a two-word obscenity was written in English on the inside cover of a Quran, reports ABC News.

According to the News Day, the prison commander, Brig. Gen. Jay Hood, launched the investigation after Newsweek reported in the May 9 issue - then retracted - an allegation that a &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/printed.html?news_id=13943 ' target=_blank>Quran had been flushed down a toilet.

Hood said he found no evidence a Quran ever was placed in a toilet by U.S. personnel, but his report details the incident that apparently gave rise to the allegation, in July 2002. The report said that a detainee dropped a Quran but that the story evolved as it spread through the prison to a tale of a guard throwing the Quran in the toilet.

The investigation revealed "a consistent, documented policy of respectful handling of the Koran dating back almost 2 1/2 years," Hood said in a news release containing the new details, given out after normal business hours Friday.

Hood's investigation also found 15 incidents where detainees mishandled Qurans, including three where they placed the books or torn-out pages into toilets.

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