Via News One
WASHINGTON — In another embarrassment to the Pentagon, newly published photographs purport to show U.S. troops posing with the bodies of dead insurgents in Afghanistan.
Top U.S. military and civilian officials rushed to condemn the soldiers’ actions Wednesday, calling them repugnant and a dishonor to others who have served in the conflict. The Army said an investigation is under way.
The photos were published in Wednesday’s Los Angeles Times. The photos show members of the 82nd Airborne Division posing in 2010 with Afghan police and the severed legs of a suicide bomber. The same platoon a few months later was sent to investigate the remains of three insurgents reported to have accidentally blown themselves up – and soldiers again posed and mugged for photographs with the remains, the newspaper said. A photo from that incident appears to show the hand of a dead insurgent resting on a U.S. soldier’s shoulder as the soldier smiles.
The photos are the latest in a series of blows to the U.S. military image in Afghanistan. In January, U.S. Marines were found to have made a video of them urinating on Afghan corpses. In February, what the military said was the accidental burning of Qurans triggered violent protests and revenge killings of six Americans. And last month, a U.S. soldier left his base and allegedly killed 17 civilian villagers, mainly women and children.
The Times said that a soldier provided the newspaper with a series of 18 photos of soldiers posing with corpses. The soldier served in Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne’s 4th Brigade Combat Team from Ft. Bragg, N.C., and said the photos point to a breakdown in leadership and discipline that he believed compromised the safety of the troops, the newspaper reported.
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