US apologizes for Afghanistan leaflets that offended Muslims

A U.S. official has apologized for leaflets dropped in Afghanistan that were deemed offensive to Islam.

Shah Wali Shahid, the deputy governor of Parwan province, says the leaflets dropped Monday night, which encouraged Afghans to cooperate with security forces, included an image of a dog carrying the Taliban flag. The flag has Islamic verses inscribed on it, and dogs are seen as unclean in much of the Muslim world.

Maj. Gen. James Linder apologized, saying the leaflets mistakenly contained an image that was offensive to Muslims.

Throughout the 16-year Afghan war, U.S. forces have struggled to convince ordinary Afghans to help them defeat the Taliban. Afghanistan is a deeply conservative country, and alleged blasphemy has sparked riots.