German troops suspended over skull photos

2nd November 2006, Comments 0 comments

2 November 2006, Berlin (dpa) - The German Defence Ministry said that six soldiers had been suspended in connection with a scandal involving pictures of troops desecrating skulls found in Afghanistan.

2 November 2006

Berlin (dpa) - The German Defence Ministry said that six soldiers had been suspended in connection with a scandal involving pictures of troops desecrating skulls found in Afghanistan.

A total of 23 soldiers are suspected of participating in the posed photos dating back to 2003 and 2004 including one in which a soldier exposed his genitals with a skull, a ministry spokesman said.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has expressed disgust over the photos which were published in the biggest selling German daily Bild Zeitung and broadcast by the commercial RTL TV.

The defence ministry confirmed it was also investigating allegations by Stern magazine and the newspaper Junge Welt that German troops painted symbols from the Nazi Wehrmacht on their vehicles in Afghanistan.

Both publications say they will publish photos Thursday showing what are alleged to be German armoured cars in Afghanistan with Adolf Hitler's Afrika Korps palm tree symbol.

Instead of the Nazi swastika used in the original Afrika Korps symbol on the tree's trunk, the photos show a swooping eagle.

The ministry said it could not immediately be confirmed whether the vehicles pictured really belonged to the German armed forces.

DPA

Subject: German news

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