Afghan President Hamid Karzai has expressed outrage over a video posted online that shows US troops "desecrating" the corpses of slain Afghans, and urged Washington to punish the perpetrators.
"The government of Afghanistan is deeply disturbed by a video that shows American soldiers desecrating dead bodies of three Afghans," a statement from the president's office, Press TV reported.
The statement added, "This act by American soldiers is simply inhuman and condemnable in the strongest possible terms. We expressly ask the US government to urgently investigate the video and apply the most severe punishment to anyone found guilty in this crime."
The video, posted on YouTube and other websites, shows four men in camouflage US combat uniforms urinating on three corpses. One of them jokes: "Have a nice day, buddy." Another makes a lewd joke.
It has stirred up already strong anti-US sentiment in Afghanistan after more than a decade of war that has seen other cases of abuse.
Residents in Afghanistan's southern city of Kandahar as well as in the capital Kabul staged rallies on Thursday to slam the desecration of the corpses, saying the US marines committed crimes.
The demonstrators said, “Since they've committed such a crime, we don't want them anymore on our soil, we don't like foreign soldiers to be on our soil and they have to leave.”
On January 7, Afghan officials stated that inmates in the US-run Bagram prison in Afghanistan's eastern province of Parwan have faced abuses including torture, beatings and other mistreatment.
Chairman of Afghanistan's Constitutional Oversight Commission said that prisoners in what is sometimes called the “Afghan Guantanamo” complained of being held in prison long after they were acquitted or their prison term had finished.
The video also comes to light as Afghan leaders ratchet up pressure on the United States to hand over security and law enforcement duties more quickly to the country's forces.
The US-led invasion of Afghanistan took place in 2001 under the pretext of combating terrorism, toppling the Taliban regime and establishing security in the country.
However, insecurity continues to rise across Afghanistan despite the presence of foreign forces in the country.