WASHINGTON - A major Muslim civil rights and advocacy organisation Thursday condemned the alleged desecration of corpses of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan by members of the US Marines.

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said video on the TMZ website appears to show a number of Marines in combat gear urinating on several dead bodies. The person who reportedly distributed the video stated that it shows Marines from Camp Lejeune urinating on dead Taliban.

A Marine Corps spokesperson said the incident allegedly shown in the video will be investigated.

In a letter faxed to Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad wrote:

“We condemn this apparent desecration of the dead as a violation of our nation’s military regulations and of international laws of war prohibiting such disgusting and immoral actions.

“If verified as authentic, the video shows behavior that is totally unbecoming of American military personnel and that could ultimately endanger other soldiers and civilians.

“We trust that this disturbing incident will be promptly investigated in a transparent manner and that appropriate actions will be taken based on the results of that investigation. Any guilty parties must be punished to the full extent allowed by the Uniform Code of Military Justice and by relevant American laws.”