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Australian soldier drinks beer from dead Taliban fighter’s prosthetic leg

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(Last Updated On: December 1, 2020)

A photograph obtained by The Guardian shows a senior Australian special forces soldier drinking beer out of the prosthetic leg of a dead Taliban fighter at an unauthorised bar on a base in Uruzgan province, in Afghanistan, in 2009.

The picture of the beer swilling soldier comes amid a growing scandal following the release of a report recently that Australia’s special forces were allegedly responsible for the unlawful death of 39 Afghans.

A number of photographs obtained by the Guardian show the senior soldier drinking from the leg in an unofficial bar known as the Fat Lady’s Arms, which was set up inside Australia’s special forces base in Tarin Kowt, the capital of Uruzgan province, in 2009, The Guardian reported.

Another photo appears to show two soldiers performing a dance with the leg.

The photograph is the first to be published that confirms previous reports of the practice of using the leg as a drinking vessel, The Guardian reported.

According to the report, some soldiers have said the practice was widely tolerated by officers at high levels and even involved some of them – despite the limb potentially being a war trophy, which Australians soldiers were forbidden from taking from the battlefield.

The Guardian said the leg is believed to have belonged to a suspected Taliban fighter killed during a special forces raid on two compounds and a tunnel complex in Uruzgan in April 2009.

The news outlet stated that the leg was eventually mounted on a wooden plaque under the heading Das Boot, alongside an Iron Cross – a military decoration used in Nazi Germany. The leg travelled with the squadron at all times, one former trooper told the Guardian.

“Wherever the Fat Lady’s Arms was set up, then that’s where the leg was kept and used occasionally for drinking out of,” he said.

The soldier also said that senior commanders would occasionally visit the bar and would have seen the leg and potentially the practice of drinking from it.

The Guardian reported that rumours that pictures exist of high-ranking officers drinking from the leg have long been circulating in the Australian special forces community and Australian media have also reported about the leg’s existence.

The Guardian stated meanwhile that the war crimes report, released recently, did not mention whether any soldiers were under investigation for taking trophies but did mention the Fat Lady’s Arms as being an example of how ethical leadership was compromised.

The report said of the unauthorised bar that this involved “the toleration, acceptance and participation in a widespread disregard for behavioural norms: such as drinking on operations, the Fat Lady’s Arms, and lax standards of dress, personal hygiene and behaviour – and not only on operations – which would not have been tolerated elsewhere in Army”.

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Two police personnel killed in targeted explosion in Kabul

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(Last Updated On: January 16, 2021)

At least two Afghan National Police (ANP) personnel were killed in an early morning IED explosion in Kabul on Saturday. 

According to police the explosion happened in PD3 in Dehbore square area of Kabul. 

Police said a Land Cruiser, belonging to Kabul Police Headquarters, had been targeted in the IED explosion. 

One other ANP member was wounded in the explosion. 

So far no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

This comes after a marked increase in targeted killings across the country – specifically against public figures, government workers, journalists and civil society members.

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12 local police killed in Taliban attack in Herat

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(Last Updated On: January 16, 2021)

At least 12 members of Afghan local police were killed in an attack by Taliban “infiltrators” in Herat province, local officials confirmed Saturday.

Herat police spokesman Abdul Ahad Walidaza said the incident occurred on Friday night in Ghorian district.

According to Walizada a delegation has arrived in the area to investigate the incident.

So far the Taliban has not commented.

Earlier sources in Herat province said three Taliban infiltrators killed at least 12 members of the local uprising forces, took their weapons, ammunition and fled the area.

Sources added that Taliban infiltrators had joined the force three nights ago.

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Parliament rejects draft budget for second time

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(Last Updated On: January 16, 2021)

Members of the Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament) have rejected the proposed budget for the new fiscal year 1400 for the second time.

MPs said the second draft budget is also unbalanced and still does not address the issue of equal pay for government employees.

MPs said they will not approve the budget until the money has been allocated appropriately and that demands of the parliament regarding the equalizing of salaries are taken into account.

They said that the government also added two more articles to the draft budget which were not acceptable to them. 

MPs first rejected the draft budget on December 30 citing “serious problems” which they said hinged on the disproportionate allocation of money to projects and emergency codes. 

The draft budget was approved by the cabinet in November following adjustments in the Public Finance and Expenditure Management Regulation, a draft plan of hydrocarbons regulation; draft statute of Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (the Afghan power company); and the draft law on cadastre.

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