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1 Dec, 2020 08:30

Pic of Aussie soldier CHUGGING BEER from ‘prosthetic leg of dead Taliban fighter’ emerges amid Afghan war crimes report fallout

Pic of Aussie soldier CHUGGING BEER from ‘prosthetic leg of dead Taliban fighter’ emerges amid Afghan war crimes report fallout

Leaked photographs purportedly show Australian soldiers partying with an artificial limb that belonged to a Taliban militant, amid growing outrage over a report detailing suspected abuses committed by Aussie troops in Afghanistan.

In one of the images, a senior Australian special forces soldier is seen drinking beer from the prosthetic leg, the Guardian, which obtained the photographs, reported. The trooper in the photograph is still serving in the Australian armed forces, the paper said. 

In another photo, two soldiers, one of them holding what appears to be a beer, are seen posing with the fake limb. A ‘pirate’ flag is hanging on the wall behind them. 

The images reportedly document the rowdy atmosphere at an unauthorized bar, known as the Fat Lady’s Arms, located inside Australia’s special forces base in Tarin Kowt, the capital of Uruzgan province, Afghanistan. 


The prosthetic limb is said to have belonged to a suspected Taliban fighter who was killed during an assault on compound in April 2009, the paper reported. Soldiers told the outlet senior-level officers were aware of the macabre drinking practice. The leg traveled with the special forces unit at all times, one former soldier told the Guardian. It was reportedly later mounted on a wooden plaque, alongside an Iron Cross – a military decoration used in imperial and Nazi Germany, and captioned with “Das Boot” (which actually means “the boat” in German).

The publication of the problematic images coincides with the conclusion of a four-year probe which found “credible evidence” of war crimes committed by elite Australian troops in Afghanistan. The report identified evidence of 39 unlawful killings carried out by Aussie forces in the country. The report makes reference to the “widespread disregard for behavioural norms” witnessed at the Fat Lady’s Arms, but does not specifically mention the prosthetic leg. 

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The Australian government has apologized to Kabul for “the misconduct identified by the inquiry.” The alleged abuses have received international attention, as well as condemnation from foreign governments. Canberra demanded an apology from the Chinese Foreign Ministry after one of its spokespersons called for “justice,” and included a doctored photograph of an Australian soldier holding a knife to an Afghan girl’s neck. Beijing has refused to apologize, instead suggesting that the Australian government atone for the alleged war crimes. 

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