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Newsweek Retracts Koran Desecration Story


Newsweek magazine has retracted its story that a U.S. military probe found evidence of the Koran being desecrated at a U.S. military prison.

Newsweek Editor Mark Whitaker issued the retraction late Monday after the White House and U.S. Defense Department both said the magazine's story was wrong.

The full retraction from Newsweek reads, "Based on what we know now, we are retracting our original story that an internal military investigation uncovered Koran abuse at Guantanamo Bay."

The May 9th Newsweek report said that in one alleged incident, interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay prison had flushed a copy of the Koran down a toilet in a bid to unsettle Muslim detainees.

The story sparked violent protests in several countries, including Afghanistan, where at least 17 people were killed.

In an interview Monday, U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher told VOA's Urdu Service military prison officials have very clear instructions to respect the Koran and the religion of detainees.

He said U.S. officials have investigated earlier allegations of Koran desecration and found no evidence to substantiate them. On Sunday, Newsweek acknowledged potential problems with the story's sourcing.

In a statement, the magazine extended sympathies to those killed in the violence and the U.S. soldiers caught in its midst.

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