US to probe Taliban corpses desecration


The US Marine Corps said on Wednesday it would investigate a video showing what appear to be American forces in Afghanistan
urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban fighters.
The video, which was posted on YouTube and other websites, shows four men in camouflage Marine combat uniforms urinating on the bodies of three dead Taliban.
One of them jokes: “Have a nice day, buddy.” Another makes a lewd joke about a shower.
“While we have not yet verified the origin or authenticity of this video, the actions portrayed are not consistent with our core values and are not indicative of the character of the Marines in our Corps,” the Marines said in a statement.
“This matter will be fully investigated.” Two US military officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the video appeared to be authentic at first look.
A Muslim civil rights group in the United States condemned the alleged desecration of corpses in a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
“Any guilty parties must be punished to the full extent allowed by the Uniform Code of Military Justice and by relevant American laws,” the Council on American-Islamic Relations said in the letter, a copy of which was sent to media organizations.
US Ambassador Marc Grossman is due to visit Afghanistan and Qatar next week for talks with the Afghan and Qatar governments. At the Pentagon, Captain John Kirby said the defense department was “deeply troubled” by the video. “Whoever it is, and whatever the circumstances which we know is under investigation, it is egregious behavior and unacceptable for a member of the military,” Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said.
Peace talks:
A video showing what appear to be American forces urinating on dead Taliban fighters prompted anger in Afghanistan and promises of a U.S. investigation on Thursday, but the insurgent group said it would not harm nascent efforts to broker peace talks.
“Such action will leave a very, very bad impact on peace efforts,” Arsala Rahmani, a senior member of the Afghan government’s High Peace Council, said.
Despite concerns when the video first emerged that it would not help his efforts build confidence among the warring parties, a Taliban spokesman said although the images were shocking, the tape would not affect talks or a mooted prisoner release.
“This is not the first time we see such brutality,” said spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.
“We know that our country is occupied…This is not a political process, so the video will not harm our talks and prisoner exchange because they are at the preliminary stage.”
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.”
“This behaviour dishonours the sacrifices and core values of every service member representing the 50 nations of the coalition,” ISAF said in a statement, adding that a U.S. criminal investigation had been launched.
Karzai’s office declined immediate comment.