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Latest photo scandal: US soldiers pose with dead Afghan insurgents

An American soldier gave the Los Angeles Times 18 photos of US soldiers posing with dead Afghan insurgents. US Ambassador in Afghanistan Ryan Crocker called the actions of these American soldiers "morally repugnant."

By Jack KimballReuters / April 18, 2012

US Marine Gen. John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan condemn the pictures taken by US troops with dead Afghan insurgents. He's ordered an investigation.

(AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, File)

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Kabul

Already tense U.S. and NATO ties with Afghanistan were dealt another blow on Wednesday with photographs appearing in an American newspaper of U.S. soldiers posing with the maimed bodies of dead Afghan insurgents.

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Senior US officials and NATO's top commander in the country, US Gen. John Allen, moved quickly to condemn the pictures even before they were published by the Los Angeles Times, which received the photos from another soldier.

"The actions of the individuals photographed do not represent the policies of International Security Assistance Force or the U.S. Army," General Allen said in a statement, adding an investigation into the incident was underway.

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An American soldier said that he gave the photos to the Los Angeles Times to draw attention to the breakdown in leadership and discipline among US troops in Afghanistan.

The appearance on the LA Times website of some of the 18 pictures, taken in 2010, comes at a sensitive time in U.S.-Afghan relations, following release of a video in January that showed four US Marines urinating on Afghan insurgent corpses.

In February, 10 US Marine Corps snipers in Afghanistan posed for a photography with a Nazi SS flag.

The inadvertent burning of copies of the Koran at a major NATO airbase also triggered a week of riots that left 30 dead and led to the deaths of six Americans.

And in March a U.S. Army sergeant went on a nighttime shooting rampage in two southern Afghan villages, killing 17 civilians and prompting Afghan President Hamid Karzai to demand foreign soldiers confine themselves to major bases.

Taliban insurgents launched suicide attacks in Kabul and three other provinces at the weekend, claiming the assault was launched in retaliation for all three incidents.

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