Two of the four Marines seen in a video appearing to urinate on the bodies of dead Taliban have been identified, a Marine Corps official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Thursday condemned a video that apparently shows U.S. Marines urinating on the corpses of Afghan men, footage that the Pentagon acknowledged did not appear to be fake.
The official added that the Marines believed the video was authentic.
The two that were identified are still part of the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, based out of Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. That unit served in Afghanistan's Helmand province from March until September of 2011, the official said.
"I have seen the footage, and I find the behavior depicted in it utterly deplorable," Panetta said in a statement, adding that he had ordered the Marine Corps and the commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan to investigate the incident.
"Those found to have engaged in such conduct will be held accountable to the fullest extent," he said.
The video that surfaced a day earlier appeared to show American forces urinating on the bodies of dead bodies. It could aggravate anti-American sentiment in Afghanistan as the Obama administration hopes to end a decade-long invasion.
The video, posted on YouTube and other websites, shows four men in camouflage Marine combat uniforms urinating on three corpses. One of them jokes: "Have a nice day, buddy." Another makes a lewd joke.
The video comes at a sensitive moment for the Obama administration, which is about to launch a flurry of diplomatic efforts it hopes will kindle peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
How the video will affect that initiative is unclear.
A senior member of Afghanistan's High Peace Council said it would undermine the peace efforts, but a Taliban spokesman said it was accustomed to such brutality and suggested the video would not affect existing discussions.
The U.S. Marine Corps has said it will investigate. The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan described the acts depicted in the video as "disrespectful" and "inexplicable".
Although the U.S. military has stopped short of confirming the video is authentic, the Pentagon on Thursday came close.
"We don't have any indication that it's not authentic," Pentagon spokesman Captain John Kirby said.
"It certainly appears to us to be what it appears to be to you guys... troops urinating on corpses. But there's an investigation process ongoing. We need to let that work its way through to determine all the facts of the case."
Israel said on Thursday it had foiled plans by Hamas to attack Israelis in Jerusalem's largest soccer stadium, other parts of the city and the occupied West Bank, though Hamas said it had no information on the allegations.
The departure of the UDMR party, which joined the government in early 2014, will weaken Ponta but still leaves his centre-left alliance with a 60 percent majority in parliament
In much of Aleppo there is little left to save. Rebel districts have been devastated by months of government bombardment with "barrel bombs," explosives packed with shrapnel and nails.
The Minister for Internal Affairs, De Mizier, said that Muslims who are suspected of fighting in Syria or Iraq will have their ID cards taken away within 18 months.
The Islamic Movement said al-Khateeb's defense of the Al-Aqsa Mosque was the reason why the Israeli authorities had barred him from entering the historic city.
The announcement was made at a press conference held at AU headquarters in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
The squabbling between India and Pakistan has held back SAARC for years, with the two sides' disagreements preventing progress in the consensus-based grouping.
People around the world turn to social media to express solidarity with protesters in Ferguson.
The decision swells an EU sanctions list over Ukraine that already covers 119 people and 23 entities.
Nearly 6 million people have been displaced by right-wing paramilitary groups and Marxist rebels since the conflict began in 1964
Khamenei, the ultimate authority on all Iranian matters of state, said: "For the same reasons I wasn't against negotiations, I'm also not against the extension
Roughly 5,000 students from the Gaza Strip have been unable to cross into Egypt to resume their studies due to Egypt's closure of the Rafah crossing
Decision taken after killing of four anti-polio workers in state capital on Wednesday
Fighters dressed in army uniforms attacked an Indian army base in the occupied Kashmi, as the leaders of India and Pakistan attended a regional summit aimed at boosting trade.
One of the draft laws presented by the conservative prime minister covers financing of political parties and the other aims to improve transparency and prevention of conflict of interests in government roles.
European Parliament MEPs voted on a motion filed against European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and his commission over the so-called LuxLeaks affair.