Afghanistan, U.S. sign deal on prison handover

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The U.S. has apologized and said the Qurans came from the Parwan detention center and were taken out because they had extremist messages written in them, but that they should not have been sent to be burned. Karzai said soon after the Quran burnings became public that these types of incidents would not occur if the Afghans were in charge of the detention facility.

The issue of night raids, meanwhile, still has to be resolved.

Karzai has demanded an end to night raids in Afghan villages by coalition forces. The raids target insurgents, but Karzai has said civilians are too often rounded up or killed when raids turn violent. He insists that if there are night raids, Afghan troops should conduct them alone.

The U.S. officials said talks are already underway on a separate memorandum governing night raids.

The U.S.-Afghan strategic partnership is expected to provide for several thousand U.S. troops to stay and train Afghan forces and help with counterterrorism operations. It would outline the legal status of those forces, their operating rules and where they would be based.

The agreement is also seen as a means of assuring the Afghan people that the U.S. does not plan to abandon their country, even as it withdraws its combat forces.

Associated Press writers Sebastian Abbot and Amir Shah contributed to this report in Kabul.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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