More footage shown of German soldiers desecrating skulls in Afghanistan
26. October 2006, 12:20

AFP - The scandal over German soldiers desecrating the dead in Afghanistan grew as more photographs emerged of troops playing with skulls.

RTL television showed pictures of a soldier deployed in Afghanistan kissing a human skull, and of another posing with one on the front of his patrol vehicle.

The television channel said the pictures were taken in March 2004, roughly a year later than images published in Bild newspaper on Wednesday which have shocked Germany and led to a criminal investigation.

The first set of pictures showed German soldiers posing with a skull mounted on a patrol vehicle belonging to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.

In one photograph a soldier holds the skull next to his naked penis.

The chief of staff of the Bundeswehr, Wolfgang Schneiderhan, denied suggestions that the second set of pictures proved that such behaviour was common among German troops.

"It is another isolated case," Schneiderhan told RTL, but vowed that the soldiers involved would face a "merciless" inquiry into their conduct.

Germany is the second biggest contributor of peacekeepers to Afghanistan with 2,750 troops and holds the command of ISAF in the north of the country.

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