‘Repugnant’: U.S. army apologises for graphic photos of soldiers with civilian corpses as violence is feared in Afghanistan

Posted: March 21, 2011 in US News

Mail Online
March 21, 2011

# U.S. army forced to issue an apology over ‘trophy’ photos of soldiers grinning over bloodied Afghan corpses.
# Commanders in Afghanistan bracing themselves for public fury and possible riots
# German newspaper Der Spiegel, who obtained the photographs, said there are thousands more showing other victims

The U.S. Army has been forced to apologise over what they have deemed as ‘repugnant’ photographs of grinning American soldiers standing over bloodied and partially-naked Afghan bodies they had allegedly killed.

The pictures were published by German news organisation Der Spiegel and were among 4,000 they have obtained.

Meanwhile, commanders in Afghanistan are bracing themselves for a public backlash and possible riots over the ‘trophy’ photographs, especially since it has been alleged that the Afghan civilians were unarmed and innocent.

Senior officials at Nato’s International Security Assistance Force in Kabul have compared the pictures published by the German news weekly to the images of U.S. soldiers abusing prisoners in Abu Ghraib in Iraq which sparked waves of anti-U.S. protests around the world.

It is feared that these pictures – which show the aftermath of the murders at the hands of a rogue U.S. Stryker ‘kill team’ – could be even more damaging as the trials of the 12 accused men are currently under way in Seattle.

On Sunday night, many organisations employing foreign staff – including the United Nations – ordered their staff into a ‘lockdown’, banning all movements around Kabul and requiring people to remain in their compounds.

Army officials attempted to keep the photographs under wraps as part of the war crimes probe fearing it could inflame feelings at a time when anti-Americanism in Afghanistan is already running high.

In their statement, the U.S. army said the photographs depicted ‘actions repugnant to us as human beings and contrary to the standards and values of the United States Army.

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