BAGHDAD — "A soldier used a Koran, the Islamic holy book, for target practice in a predominantly Sunni area west of Baghdad, prompting an apology from the military, a spokesman said Sunday.
Separately, mortar shells slammed into a residential area north of Baghdad, killing at least four people and wounding 30, most of them children playing outside, officials said Sunday.
The shelling occurred as clashes broke out in Shiite areas late Saturday despite a truce reached last week by Shiite politicians and followers of anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.
Iraqi police found the bullet-riddled Koran with graffiti inside the cover on a small-arms range near a police station in Radwaniyah, a former insurgent stronghold west of Baghdad, U.S. military spokesman Col. Bill Buckner said.
American commanders then launched an inquiry that led to disciplinary action against the soldier, who has been removed from Iraq, Buckner said.
The action, which happened May 9 and was discovered two days later, threatened to further strain relations between the Americans and Sunni allies who have joined forces with them against Al Qaeda in Iraq in Radwaniyah and other areas."
Do me a favor. Next time anyone wants to give me something to remember, a traditional happy-birthday will suffice. Not that I have a damned thing against defacing that cult rag of moslem murder rules, but getting oneself in serious trouble isn't worth it. Wait till the hitch is over, then shoot 'em, flush em, use 'em for toilet tissue.