U.S. soldier uses Quran for target practice; military apologizes BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The U.S. military on Saturday formally apologized to an Iraqi village after a soldier admitted using the Quran -- Islam's holy book -- for target practice. Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Hammond, commander of U.S. forces in Baghdad, apologized to the Radhwaniya tribe 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. "I come before you here seeking your forgiveness," Hammand said to tribal leaders and others at the apology ceremony. "In the most humble manner I look in your eyes today and I say please forgive me and my soldiers." Another military official kissed a Quran and presented it as "a humble gift" to the tribal leaders. The shooter, whose name was not released, shot at a Quran on May 9, villagers said. The Quran used in the incident was discovered two days later, according to the military. A tribal leader said "the criminal act by U.S. forces" took place at a shooting range at the Radhwaniya police station. After the shooters left, an Iraqi policeman found a target marked in the middle of the bullet-riddled Quran. Copies of the pictures of the Quran obtained by CNN show multiple bullet holes and an expletive scrawled on one of its pages. A military investigation found the shooter guilty and relieved him of duty; he will be redeployed to the United States for reassignment away from the 1st Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division, Hammond said. "The actions of one soldier were nothing more than criminal behavior," he said in the apology. "I've come to this land to protect you, to support you -- not to harm you -- and the behavior of this soldier was nothing short of wrong and unacceptable." Tribal leaders, dignitaries and local security officials attended the ceremony, while residents carried banners and chanted slogans, including "Yes, yes to the Quran" and "America out, out."