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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Video shows US soldiers urinating on dead Taliban


The video appear to be showing American forces urinating on dead Taliban fighters. It has also sparked promises of a U.S. investigation on Thursday, but the Taliban said it would not harm nascent efforts to broker peace talks. 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. It is likely to stir up already strong anti-U.S. sentiment in Afghanistan after a decade of a war that has seen other cases of abuse, and that could complicate efforts to promote reconciliation as foreign troops gradually withdraw. "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, told Reuters. The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama, seeing a glimmer of hope after months of efforts to broker talks, is launching a fresh round of shuttle diplomacy this weekend. Marc Grossman, Obama s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, will fly into the region for talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and top officials in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. His immediate goal is to seal agreement for the Taliban to open a political office in the Gulf state of Qatar. 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.

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