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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- 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.

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Maj. Gen. Jeffery Hammond apologizes after a soldier admitted using the Quran for target practice.

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. He also read a letter of apology by the shooter.

It was the first time the incident -- which tested the relationship between U.S.-backed Sunni militiamen and the military -- was made public since it was discovered May 11.


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