Middle East

Taliban denounces 'barbaric' video, says will not affect talks

The Taliban on Thursday denounced as "barbaric" a video purporting to show U.S. servicemembers urinating on dead Taliban fighters in Afghanistan but said it would not have an impact on planned peace talks.

"This is a barbaric act. Over the past 10 years, there have been hundreds of similar cases that were not revealed," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed was quoted as saying by AFP.

The spokesman said the video would not affect planned peace talks with the U.S.

"I don't think this new issue will affect negotiations, which at this stage are mainly about prisoner exchange," he said.

The U.S. plans a major push next week to jump-start peace talks with the Taliban, senior Obama administration officials told The Wall Street Journal, amid the first concrete signs of progress toward a negotiated end to the 10-year war in Afghanistan.

The Taliban's political wing is ready to enter talks, but the insurgents will in the meantime continue their armed struggle, the group said Thursday.

In the video, four men in Marine uniforms and combat gear are shown exposing their genitals and urinating on three dead bodies. One of the deceased has large blood stain on his chest.

The person who posted the video included a description that reads "scout sniper team 4 with 3rd battalion 2nd marines out of camp lejeune peeing on dead talibans."

One of the servicemembers can be heard saying in the recording, "Have a great day, buddy."

The Marine Corps said in a statement Wednesday that it "has recently been made aware of a video that portrays Marines urinating on what appear to be deceased members of the Taliban."

"While we have not yet verified the origin or authenticity of this video, the actions portrayed are not consistent with our core values and are not indicative of the character of the Marines in our Corps. This matter will be fully investigated," the statement added.

The Associated Press and Newscore contributed to this report.