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Hillary Clinton denounces abuse of bodies of Taliban fighters

(Xinhua)

15:31, January 13, 2012

WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday denounced the videoed abuse of the bodies of Taliban fighters by U.S. Marines, saying the perpetrators must be held "fully accountable."

"I want to express my total dismay at the story concerning our Marines," the top U.S. envoy said after meeting with visiting Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci.

Clinton said she joined Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in condemning the "deplorable behavior," noting "It is absolutely inconsistent with American values, with the standards of behavior that we expect from our military personnel."

"Anyone found to have participated or known about it, having engaged in such conduct, must be held fully accountable," she added.

Four men in U.S. camouflage combat uniforms were shown on an Internet video urinating on the bodies of Taliban fighters killed in Afghanistan. One of the soldiers joked: "Have a nice day, buddy. "

The incident came as the Obama administration is reportedly seeking the blessing of Afghan President Hamid Karzai to resume peace talks with the Taliban, which collapsed in December last year.

"The United States remains strongly committed to helping build a secure, peaceful, prosperous, democratic future for the people of Afghanistan, and we will continue to support efforts that will be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned to pursue the possibility of reconciliation and peace," Clinton said.

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