LA paper prints pictures of US troops posing with dead Afghans

Thu, Apr 19, 2012, 01:00

In photographs published yesterday by a US newspaper, American troops are seen posing with the maimed bodies of suspected Afghan insurgents.

The incident further threatens to fray US relations with Afghanistan’s government and prompted the Pentagon chief to issue an apology.

US officials quickly condemned the behaviour seen in the pictures published by the Los Angeles Times. US defence secretary Leon Panetta also said he regretted the decision of the newspaper to publish some of the photos, which he said might trigger retaliatory violence against foreign soldiers stationed in Afghanistan.

In one photo, a US paratrooper posed next to an unofficial patch placed beside a body that read “Zombie Hunter”, while in another, soldiers posed with Afghan police holding the severed legs of an insurgent bomber.

Two soldiers in another photo held a dead insurgent’s hand with the middle finger raised.

During a Nato meeting in Brussels yesterday, Mr Panetta apologised “on behalf of the department of defence and the US government”. – (Reuters)