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FACTDROP: US to probe video of troops urinating on Taliban corpses


US to probe video of troops urinating on Taliban corpses

Πηγή: France 24
By Reuters
Jan 12 2012

US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Thursday condemned as "utterly deplorable" a video that appears to show US troops urinating on the corpses of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan and promised an investigation into the incident.

REUTERS - U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Thursday condemned a video that apparently shows U.S. Marines urinating on the corpses of Afghan men, promising to punish those involved.

"I have seen the footage, and I find the behavior depicted in it utterly deplorable," Panetta said in a statement, saying he had ordered the Marine Corps and the commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan to investigate the incident.

"Those found to have engaged in such conduct will be held accountable to the fullest extent," he said.

The video that surfaced a day earlier appeared to show American forces urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban fighters could aggravate anti-American sentiment in Afghanistan as the Obama administration hopes to end a decade-long war.

The video, posted on YouTube and other websites, shows four men in camouflage Marine combat uniforms urinating on three corpses. One of them jokes: "Have a nice day, buddy." Another makes a lewd joke.

The video comes at a sensitive moment for the Obama administration, which is about to launch a flurry of diplomatic efforts it hopes will kindle peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

How the video will affect that initiative is unclear.

A senior member of Afghanistan's High Peace Council said it would undermine the peace efforts, but a Taliban spokesman said it was accustomed to such "brutality" and suggested the video would not affect existing discussions.

The U.S. Marine Corps has said it will investigate. The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan described the acts depicted in the video as "disrespectful" and "inexplicable".

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