BAGHDAD, Iraq — A soldier used the Quran – Islam’s holy book – for target practice, forcing the chief U.S. commander in Baghdad to issue a formal apology on Saturday. Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Hammond, commander of U.S. forces in Baghdad, flanked by leaders from Radhwaniya in the western outskirts of Baghdad, apologized for the staff sergeant who was a sniper section leader assigned to the headquarters of the 64th Armored Regiment.
The soldier, whose name was not released, shot at a Quran on May 9, villagers said. The Quran used in the incident was discovered two days later, according to the military. A tribal leader said “the criminal act by U.S. forces” took place at a shooting range at the Radhwaniya police station. After the shooters left, an Iraqi policeman found a target marked in the middle of the bullet-riddled Quran. Copies of the pictures of the Quran obtained by CNN show multiple bullet holes and an expletive scrawled on one of its pages.