Panetta apologizes for photos of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan

By Updated at 2012-04-18 18:36:16 +0000

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta apologized on Wednesday for photographs that appeared in an American newspaper of U.S. soldiers posing with the maimed bodies of dead Afghan insurgents.

"I know war is ugly ... I know young people sometimes caught up in the moment ... make some very foolish decisions," Panetta told a news conference during a meeting of NATO allies in Brussels. "I am not excusing that." He added: "My apology is on behalf of the Department of Defense and the U.S. government."

(Reporting by Missy Ryan and Arshad Mohammed; Writing by Justyna Pawlak Ediitng by Maria Golovnina)

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