(A supporter of the Pakistani religious political party Jamaat-e-Islami holds up copy of the Koran during an anti-U.S. protest rally in Karachi March 2, 2012. REUTERS/Athar Hussain)

The U.S. troops who burned copies of the Koran at a base in Afghanistan last month should have been aware it would enrage Muslims based on the reaction to previous instances of desecrating Islam’s holy book, the head of Afghanistan’s independent human rights body has said.

Sima Samar, chairwoman of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, said Americans previously have dealt with issues relating to the treatment of the Koran at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and had seen the furor created by the burning of the Koran at a Florida church last year.

U.S. officials have said that the Korans were confiscated from prisoners at Bagram air base and mistakenly discarded in an incinerator.

“On the issue of the Koran, it is a very unfortunate incident,” Samar told a news conference in Washington on Wednesday.