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Army investigates video of sheep beating in Afghanistan

Army officials are investigating a graphic video of a sheep being beaten with a baseball bat by what appears to be U.S. service members in Afghanistan, The Army Times reported Thursday.

The report comes a week after another inflammatory video surfaced on the Internet that purports to depict four U.S. Marines urinating on the corpses of Taliban fighters — a clip that both Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai condemned as deplorable. An investigation is ongoing.

In the 30-second video, a sheep with horns is dragged into a large room and is clubbed 10 times with a metal bat by a man in dark civilian clothes amid laughter and cheering. One person is seen in the background jumping up and down. No attempts are made to stop the beating.

According to The Army Times, military commanders in Afghanistan have condemned the incident, and an Army criminal investigation has been launched. The video reportedly first surfaced in November, but it's unclear when the incident occurred.

"We are aware of a Live Leak video depicting the killing of a sheep," spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force told The Army Times in an email. "The actions of those involved are not condoned or supported in any way. We are currently assessing the situation to determine more information."

PETA posted the video on its website and contacted Army officials, prompting an investigation. 

"PETA did what it always does when someone blows the whistle on these incidents of gratuitous cruelty: We wrote to Secretary of the Army John McHugh and then, when no answer was forthcoming, to other high-ranking officers, including Chief of Public Affairs General Stephen Lanza and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command David E. Quantock," the animal welfare agency stated on its website.  

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