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U.S. Military Decries Grisly Documentary

20 October 2005 -- The U.S. military has described as "repugnant" a television report that purports to show U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan burning the corpses of two Taliban fighters.

Islamic clerics have warned the film could stir strong anti-American sentiment in the Muslim world, where cremation of bodies violates religious tradition.

Military officials said they have ordered an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the report.

An Australian television channel broadcast a report yesterday that shows U.S. soldiers allegedly burning the bodies on a hill above the village of Gonbaz, north of Kandahar. The report also shows soldiers with American accents reading taunting messages that were purportedly broadcast to the village, which was believed to be harboring Taliban soldiers.

The report said the footage was filmed in early October by an Australian photojournalist who was embedded in a U.S. unit.