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Aug 28,2007
Afghans offended by 'Allah' soccer balls
by UPI

KABUL, Afghanistan - Residents of southeast Afghanistan are angry at U.S. troops after they distributed soccer balls bearing the name of Allah, the BBC reported.

The U.S. military said the troops didn't realize they were being offensive and the idea was to give soccer balls to children to play with. But about 100 people in the Khost province, where the balls were distributed, protested, saying they were an insult to Islam, the BBC reported.

"To have a verse of the Koran on something you kick with your foot would be an insult in any Muslim country around the world,” Afghan MP Mirwais Yasini said.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. troops in Afghanistan said the military made "significant efforts to work with local leaders, mullahs and elders to respect their culture,” and that they didn't mean to offend.

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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