Army officials are conducting a criminal investigation into newly revealed photographs showing U.S. troops posing with body parts of dead Afghan suicide bombers. NBC's Jim Miklaszewski reports.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai called Thursday for U.S. and other foreign forces in the country to hand over security to his government's forces sooner than planned, following the publication of photographs showing American troops posing with the body parts of dead suicide bombers.
In a statement issued by the presidential palace statement to NBC News and other media outlets Karzai said he strongly condemned the "inhumane and provocative" act.
"It is such a disgusting act to take photos with body parts and then share it with others," he said, according to the statement.
The statement noted "similar incidents of odious nature in the past that sparked angry reaction by the Afghans and the international community at large."
"The President underlines that the only way to put an end to such painful experiences is through an accelerated and full transition of security responsibilities to Afghan forces, so Afghanistan can take over its own destiny and, thus no such things can be repeated by the foreign forces in Afghanistan," it added.
The acts shown in the photographs, which were first published by the Los Angeles Times, were condemned by U.S. officials and the commander of NATO-led forces in Afghanistan, Gen. John R. Allen. "The actions of the individuals photographed do not represent the policies of ISAF or the U.S. Army," Allen said.
On Wednesday, the LA Times ran an article in which it explained the decision to publish the pictures, which were taken in 2010.
“We considered this very carefully,” Editor Davan Maharaj said. “At the end of the day, our job is to publish information that our readers need to make informed decisions. We have a particular duty to report vigorously and impartially on all aspects of the American mission in Afghanistan."
NBC's Sohel Uddin reports live from Kabul about the deadly attacks in Afghanistan over the weekend. MSNBC's Alex Wagner and the NOW panel discuss the effects of the violence on the withdrawal of American military troops, and what the attacks could mean for national security in the Middle East.
"On balance, in this case, we felt that the public interest here was served by publishing a limited, but representative sample of these photos, along with a story explaining the circumstances under which they were taken," he added.
The Times said that the the Defense Department had asked the paper not to run the photos.
The paper's article said that the safety of troops was among The Times' concerns.
“When we made the decision to publish, the Pentagon asked us to wait 24 additional hours to protect troops depicted in the photographs," Maharaj said. "We agreed to push back our publication date until the Pentagon told us they had taken the necessary precautions. In fact, we waited more than 72 hours after their request."
NBC News' Akbar Shinwari and Sohel Uddin in Kabul contributed to this report.
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