x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Corpse abuse video prompted Afghan solider to kill four French troops

Afghan ministry of defence says solider was "motivated to kill the soldiers when he saw the video of a foreign soldiers urinating on Afghan corpses".

KABUL // An Afghan soldier who shot dead four French troops said he did it because of a recent video showing US Marines urinating on the dead bodies of Taliban insurgents, security sources said.

"During the initial interrogations by French soldiers, he told them he did it because of the video in which American soldiers were urinating on bodies," an Afghan army officer said.

The report was backed by an intelligence source and another with access to information from the Afghan ministry of defence.

"In his initial confessions, he said that he was strongly motivated to kill the soldiers when he saw the video of a foreign soldiers urinating on Afghan corpses," the intelligence source said.

The French defence minister, Gerard Longuet, said during a visit to Kabul at the weekend that he had been told the soldier who killed the four soldiers and wounded 15 others was a Taliban infiltrator.

But President Hamid Karzai did not make the same accusation in a statement yesterday, describing the attack as "an isolated and individual action".

The video, posted online earlier this month, showed four US soldiers urinating on three bloodied corpses, and one of the men, apparently aware he was being filmed, saying: "Have a great day, buddy," referring to one of the dead.

The images conjured up previous abuses committed by US troops during the decade-long war and top US officials scrambled to condemn the soldiers.

A spokesman for the US Embassy in Kabul, Gavin Sundwall, said: "Our deepest condolences go out to France and the families of the soldiers who lost their lives in this tragic incident."