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US Marines allegedly urinate on Taliban corpses (3)

(Chinadaily.com.cn)

10:33, January 13, 2012

DEEPLY TROUBLED

In the United States, two military officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the video appeared to be authentic, but Reuters could not verify it or its source independently.

The US military has been prosecuting soldiers from the Army's 5th Stryker Brigade on charges of murdering unarmed Afghan civilians while deployed in Kandahar province in 2010.

At the Pentagon, Captain John Kirby said the defense department was "deeply troubled" by the video, which was released at a critical time for what US officials hope might become authentic talks on Afghanistan's political future.

In Kabul, Grossman will seek approval from Karzai -- whose support for a US effort he fears will sideline his government has wavered -- to move ahead with a series of good-faith measures seen as an essential precursor to negotiations that could give the Taliban a shared role in governing Afghanistan.

The diplomatic initiative includes a possible transfer of Taliban prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay prison.

A breakthrough would mark a milestone for the Obama administration, struggling to secure a modicum of stability in Afghanistan as it presses ahead with its gradual withdrawal from a long and costly war. The United States and its allies aim to withdraw combat troops by the end of 2014.

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