Afghan president condemns US 'desecration' of bodies
KABUL - Agence France-Presse
A file picture shows Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaking during the last day of a four-day long loya jirga, a meeting of over 2,000 Afghan tribal elders and leaders in Kabul on November 19, 2011. AFP PhotoAfghan President Hamid Karzai Thursday strongly condemned an online video appearing to show US troops "desecrating" the corpses of slain Afghan insurgents and urged Washington to punish the soldiers.
"The government of Afghanistan is deeply disturbed by a video that shows American soldiers desecrating dead bodies of three Afghans," said a statement from the president's office.
"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." The US military said it was investigating the "disgusting" footage of what appears to be four servicemen dressed in United States military uniform relieving themselves onto three bloodied bodies.
If authentic, the images -- which conjure up previous abuses committed by US troops during the decade-long war -- could spark deep anger and resentment in Afghanistan and the wider Muslim world.
The hardline Taliban insurgent group said the video showed "an inhumane and savage act by the American soldiers in Afghanistan".
"This is a small example of the crimes that they have been committing against the people of Afghanistan for the past 10 years," spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed told AFP.