Obama expresses 'deep regret' over Koran burning

 US President Barack Obama sent Afghan President Hamid Karzai a letter of apology over the burning of copies of the Koran at a US military base, Karzai's office said today.

Obama said the incident was not intentional and pledged a full investigation, a statement from the president's office said.

"I wish to express my deep regret for the reported incident," Obama wrote in the letter presented to Karzai by US ambassador Ryan Crocker.

"I extend to you and the Afghan people my sincere apologies."The error was inadvertent; I assure you that we will take the appropriate steps to avoid any recurrence, to include holding accountable those responsible," the letter said.

The burning of copies of the Koran at the US military base at Bagram north of Kabul sparked three days of fierce anti-US protests in Afghanistan in which at least 12 protesters have been killed.

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