WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – The Los Angeles Times is reporting that American soldiers posed in photographs with body parts of Afghan suicide bombers.
The report says that U.S. paratroopers were assigned to ensure that Afghan police had gathered the dismembered bodies of suicide bombers, then to get identification of the insurgents by collecting fingerprints and iris scans.
The report describes the 82nd Airborne Division as straying from protocol and following up the search by posing for photographs with the Afghan police, while holding the dismembered legs of the bombers.
The Los Angeles Times also reports similar actions were carried out months later by the same platoon, this time with the body parts of three bombers. Afghani police say these particular bombers accidentally blew themselves up.
The photos were taken during a deployment in which the 3,500 man brigade had lost 35 of its own to suicide bombers.
Capt. John Kirby, a spokesman for the Pentagon, told the Los Angeles Times that the conduct by these troops depicted “most certainly does not represent the character and the professionalism of the great majority of our troops in Afghanistan.”
“Nevertheless, this imagery — more than two years old — now has the potential to indict them all in the minds of local Afghans, inciting violence and perhaps causing needless casualties,” Kirby told the paper.
The American soldier who delivered the photos to the Times said there was a breakdown in leadership and discipline and he wanted to draw attention to the safety risk it may cause.
To see the photographs and read more, read the original story here.