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Pentagon to investigate alleged desecration of Taliban dead by US soldiers

[JURIST] The US military announced [press release] late Wednesday that it is conducting an investigation into the alleged desecration of the bodies of two dead Taliban fighters in Afghanistan by US soldiers. The troops burned two bodies and used the charred remains in a propaganda campaign against insurgents, broadcast over loudspeakers towards a village thought to be hiding Taliban fighters. Video [transcript] of the acts was aired [Dateline summary] by Australian news program Dateline Wednesday. According to a transcript [text] of the program, the American soldiers referred to the bodies as "facing west," a mocking referral to the Muslim tradition of facing west toward Mecca. Responding to the report, US Central Command said that it "does not condone the mistreatment of enemy combatants or the desecration of their religious and cultural beliefs." General Mohammed Zahir Azimi of the Afghan Defense Ministry has called for those responsible to be punished [AP report]. The Guardian has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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