Two Marines to face court martial over desecration of Taliban bodies

A pixilated still from a video purporting to show U.S. Marines urinating on dead Taliban fighters

Story highlights

  • Incident took place in Afghanistan in July 2011
  • Marines are also accused of failure to supervise junior troops
  • Three Marines already have been punished in the case

Two staff sergeants will be court-martialed for their involvement in an incident that included U.S. Marines urinating on dead Taliban fighters and posing for photographs with the corpses, the Marine Corps announced Monday.

Staff Sgt. Joseph W. Chamblin and Staff Sgt. Edward W. Deptola were charged for the incident, which occurred in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in late July 2011, a news release from the Marine Corp stated. The incident did not come to light publicly until this past January when a 39-second video showing the incident was posted on several websites, including YouTube.

The two Marines, who are based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, were also charged with dereliction of duty, failure to supervise junior Marines and failure to report the misconduct of those Marines.

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The statement didn't say when the trial is scheduled to take place.

Three other Marines have been disciplined for their role in the incident. The three non-commissioned officers pleaded guilty in August to a variety of violations of Marine Corps regulations, a statement said at the time.