Conflict & Justice

Afghanistan Soldier Photos: Karzai calls pictures of US troops 'disgusting'


Afghan President Hamid Karzai talks during a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on Apirl 11, 2011.


Massoud Hossaini

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has condemned the newly revealed photographs showing US soldiers posing with the remains of three suicide bombers, calling the pictures "disgusting."

"It is such a disgusting act to take photos with body parts and then share it with others," he said, the Los Angeles Times reported

Karzai argued that a quick exit of Western troops from his country is the only way to prevent a recurrence of "painful experiences" like those of the American soldiers posing with body parts of insurgents.

The photographs were first shown on the front page of the the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, and showed American troops posing with the mangled corpses of Afghan suicide bombers.

According to the LA Times, the photos were provided to them by a soldier who thought the photos pointed "to a breakdown in leadership and discipline that he believed compromised the safety of the troops." The Army requested the newspaper withhold the images.

More from GlobalPost: Afghanistan: Photos of troops posing with corpses showed in LA Times

The Pentagon has issued a strongly worded statement condemning the actions in the pictures.

After a meeting of NATO foreign and defense ministers in Brussels, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters at a news conference that he strongly condemned the behavior of the soldiers. An investigation was already underway.

Panetta said, "I know war is ugly ... I know young people sometimes [get] caught up in the moment ... make some very foolish decisions." According to Reuters, he said, "I am not excusing that."

Karzai also warned in a statement that "similar incidents of an odious nature" in the past sparked angry reactions from Afghans, including violent protests that left dozens dead, the Associated Press reported.

After the burning of the Qurans in February, large-scale demonstrations erupted that killed more than 30 Afghan civilians and six Americans dead. However, there were few protests after a video in January when US Marines were found to have recorded themselves urinating on the bodies of dead Afghans.

However others believe that the photographs will not spark widespread protest.

"It is different from an American soldier going and killing children, or Americans burning holy Qurans. These issues and the suicide bombers are completely different," said Hafiz Mansour, a member of parliament from the northern province of Panjshir, the AP reported. "I don't think there will be big protests."

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid has also condemned the pictures as disrespectful, the LA Times reported.

"We strongly condemn these occupiers and their puppets who are without culture, who are brutal and inhuman," Mujahid said.

More from GlobalPost: Leon Panetta apologizes for soldier photos with Afghan militant body parts