US soldiers found posing with remains of suicide bombers

US soldiers found posing with remains of suicide bombers

US soldiers found posing with remains of suicide bombers

US troops posed with mangled remains of suspected Taliban suicide bombers in a new macabre incident to come to light and Defence Secretary Leon Panetta strongly condemned the "conduct of the soldiers".

American paratroopers sent to check out reports that Afghan police had recovered the mangled remains of a suicide bomber, posed for photos grinning next to the copses with the local policemen, the Los Angeles Times reported today.

The US servicemen were sent to get iris scans and fingerprints for identification of the bombers, before their mission turned macabre. The paper identified the soldiers to be from 82nd Airborne Division.

The LA Times said it was not only time that the soldiers from the unit acted in such ghastly manner, adding that few months later the same platoon again posed for photograph next to remains of three insurgents who Afghan police said had accidentally blown themselves up.

Two soldiers posed holding a dead man's hand with the middle finger raised. A soldier leaned over the bearded corpse while clutching the man's hand. Someone placed an unofficial platoon patch reading "Zombie Hunter" next to other remains and took a picture.

The Army launched a criminal investigation after the newspaper showed officials copies of the photos, which recently were given to the paper by a soldier from the division.

"It is a violation of Army standards to pose with corpses for photographs outside of officially sanctioned purposes," said George Wright, an Army spokesman. "Such actions fall short of what we expect of our uniformed service members in deployed areas."

Panetta attending a crucial meeting of the NATO in Brussels said, "These images by no means represent the value or professionalism of US troops serving in Afghanistan."

The defence secretary told newsmen that the Los Angeles Times ignored a Pentagon request to refrain from publishing the photograph.

US army has already launched an official investigation into earlier reports of US soldiers pissing on dead Afghan bodies.