WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Thursday condemned a video that apparently shows U.S. Marines urinating on the corpses of Afghan men, promising to punish those involved.
"I have seen the footage, and I find the behavior depicted in it utterly deplorable," Panetta said in a statement, saying he had ordered the Marine Corps and the commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan to investigate the incident.
"Those found to have engaged in such conduct will be held accountable to the fullest extent," he said.
The video that surfaced a day earlier appeared to show American forces urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban fighters could aggravate anti-American sentiment in Afghanistan as the Obama administration hopes to end a decade-long war.
(Reporting By Missy Ryan)