Australia probes troops ‘misconduct’

Australia has begun an investigation into reports that its Special Forces troops cut off hands of a Taliban militant in Afghanistan for fingerprinting.

Several members of Australia’s Special Operations Task Group are under investigation for allegedly severing the hands of at least one Taliban militant in the southern province of Zabul in April, the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

The Australian troops took the severed hands for fingerprinting to a base in Tarin Kowt in the central province of Uruzgan, the report added. 

The Australian Defense Force confirmed an investigation is underway over “an incident of potential misconduct,” during a battle in which the Afghan National Security Forces and Australia’s special operations group killed four militants.

The incident marks the latest in a series of human mutilations and killings carried out by US-led foreign troops in Afghanistan. 

On March 11, 2012, US Staff Sgt. Robert Bales methodically slaughtered 16 Afghan civilians including children, women and the elderly in two villages outside his remote military outpost in Kandahar Province. 

In 2011, a Scottish UK trooper chopped off the fingers of dead Taliban militants in the war-torn country and kept the digits as souvenirs. 

In addition, several US troops posed for photos with a group of dead bodies in Afghanistan in 2010. 

The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror.