ABC News: More Afghan ‘kill team’ photos published


More Afghan ‘kill team’ photos published
The US military has again apologised after Rolling Stone published more photos and videos of members of an alleged rogue army unit “kill team” accused of killing Afghan civilians for sport.A week after one soldier was jailed after striking a plea bargain to testify against the alleged ringleader,…

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More Afghan ‘kill team’ photos published

Updated 1 hour 40 minutes ago

The US military has again apologised after Rolling Stone published more photos and videos of members of an alleged rogue army unit “kill team” accused of killing Afghan civilians for sport.

A week after one soldier was jailed after striking a plea bargain to testify against the alleged ringleader, the weekly magazine published a series of graphic images and videos alongside an extensive story detailing the allegations.

The Rolling Stone pictures, under the headline “The Kill Team”, included uncensored versions of photos published by German magazine Der Spiegel showing soldiers posing with the bloodied body of an Afghan youth, holding his head up to the camera.

The accompanying story related how the youth shown in the still pictures, identified later as farm worker Gul Mudin, was picked out on January 15 last year as the first victim of the so-called kill team.

Corporal Jeremy Morlock – who was jailed for 24 years last week – and Private Andrew Holmes initially threw a grenade at the teenager before gunning him down, and pretending he had attacked them with the grenade.

The little finger of the boy’s right hand is missing, allegedly cut off as a trophy.

In the following months, Morlock, Holmes and others staged a number of such killings, according to the Rolling Stone account, citing other witnesses questioned after the killings were revealed by a fellow soldier.

The new pictures were accompanied by two videos.

One showed US troops shooting two Afghan men on a motorbike at close range, another, set to a heavy rock soundtrack, shows two men being killed in an airstrike after allegedly planting a roadside bomb.

“The photos published by Rolling Stone are disturbing and in striking contrast to the standards and values of the United States Army,” said a Pentagon statement.

“Like those published by Der Spiegel, the Army apologises for the distress these latest photos cause.”

Battling to avoid a repetition of the Abu Ghraib scandal triggered by the release of pictures of US soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners, the Pentagon had earlier apologised after Der Spiegel’s publication of images last week.

Morlock, one of five soldiers charged with murder and tried in a military court south of Seattle, is expected to be the star witness in the court martial of the alleged ringleader, Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs.

– AFP

Tags: defence-and-national-securitydefence-forceslaw-crime-and-justicecrimeunrest-conflict-and-warmurder-and-manslaughter,afghanistanunited-states

 

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