October 21, 2005

Pentagon in damage-control mode after Taliban bodies are burned.

The US military is investigating an Australian TV report that US troops near Kandahar, Afghanistan burned the bodies of two Taliban fighters and broadcast taunts to a nearby village as the bodies burned. While the burning of bodies is deeply offensive to Muslims, the troops reportedly added to the insult by facing the bodies toward Mecca. The actions of the US troops also violated the Geneva Conventions, which require 'honourable' burial of people killed in a war.

"This alleged action is repugnant to our common values," Maj. Gen. Jason Kamiya said in a statement from the U.S. base in Bagram, Afghanistan. "This command takes all allegations of misconduct or inappropriate behavior seriously and has directed an investigation into circumstances surrounding this allegation."

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the allegations against the U.S. troops are "very serious" and, if true, "very troubling."

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said that burning bodies "is not anywhere close to our standard operating procedure. It's not something that is consistent with their procedures."

You can read the CENTCOM announcement of the investigation here.

For more information on the burning incident, see this earlier post and this post at Magpie.

Via AP.

More: The video of the burning incident has been difficult to find since SBS removed a link to the Dateline program on which the video orignally aired this past Wednesday. However, CNN has since posted its report on the story, which includes portions of the video. You can view that report here. [Requires Windows Media Player]

Posted by Magpie at October 21, 2005 03:31 PM | War on Terrorism | TrackBack(1) | Technorati links |