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Marines urinating on Taliban corpses prompts outrage

Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pentagon chief condemn video showing US soldiers urinating on bodies; call behaviour 'disgusting and unacceptable'

A shocking Internet video that appears to show four Marines urinating on the bloody corpses of three slain Taliban fighters sparked a Pentagon investigation yesterday.


Horrifying: The video shows one of the Marines saying 'Yeah' as he
urinates, while another jokingly says 'Have a great day, buddy.pic/afp


The clip shows the Marines grinning and joking as they relieve themselves on the bodies.

Lieutenant Colonel Stewart Upton said, "Allegations of Marines not doing the right thing in regard to dead Taliban insurgents are very serious and, if proven, represent a failure to adhere to the high standards expected of American military personnel." The authenticity of the video is yet to be verified.



One Marine in the video exclaims an exaggerated "yeah!" as he urinates on a corpse lying on the dirt next to an overturned wheelbarrow.

Next to him, another Marine jokes, "Have a great day, buddy" and a third can be heard saying, "Golden, like a shower."

Strong reactions
The Council on Islamic-American Relations, a Muslim civil- rights groups, demanded that the Pentagon take swift action.

"We condemn this apparent desecration of the dead as a violation of our nation's military regulations and of international laws of war prohibiting such disgusting and immoral actions," the group wrote in a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

'Deplorable'
Meanwhile, US Secretary of Defense Leon E Panetta said in a statement, "I have seen the footage, and I find the behaviour depicted in it utterly deplorable. I condemn it in the strongest possible terms."

He added, "This conduct is entirely inappropriate for members of the US military and does not reflect the standards or values our armed forces are sworn to uphold.  Those found to have engaged in such conduct will be held accountable to the fullest extent."

Afghan President Hamid Karzai added his to the growing number of voices condemning the video in a presidential statement.

"The government of Afghanistan is deeply disturbed by a video that shows American soldiers desecrating dead bodies of three Afghans," he said.

"This act by American soldiers is simply inhuman and condemnable in the strongest possible terms. We expressly ask the US government to urgently investigate the video and apply the most severe punishment to anyone found guilty in this crime," he added.

Abuse at Abu Ghraib
The most shocking instance of the abuse was at the Abu Ghraib detention facility in Baghdad in 2004 where detainees were piled naked into pyramids for the amusement of American guards. Other inmates were put on wooden platforms with a hood over their heads and told they would be electrocuted if they stepped off. There were also reports of rape, sexual abuse and other forms of torture. There was also the 'Thrill Kill' squad which murdered 3 Afghan civilians and took their body parts as trophies.

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