Afghan President Hamid Karzai has called for an "accelerated" transition of security responsibilities from NATO forces in the wake of the release of pictures showing U.S. soldiers apparently posing with the remains of suspected Afghan militants.
In a statement on April 19, Karzai, called the act of taking such pictures and sharing them with others "disgusting."
He warned that similar incidents in the past had sparked angry reactions from Afghans and the international community.
The photos, said to have been taken in 2010, were published in the "Los Angeles Times" on April 18.
The U.S. government said it "strongly condemns" the conduct of the soldiers shown in the photographs.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the photos did not reflect the "values" of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan and pledged the perpetrators would be punished.
With additional reporting by AP and AFP