Gurkha Soldier to Face Reprimand for Insurgent Beheading
July 19, 2010
UK (ChattahBox) – A Gurkha soldier with the British Army has been removed from active duty after he beheaded an insurgent as a means of identifying him, the Examiner reports.
The unnamed soldier, who is said to be in his early twenties, apparently took out his kukri ceremonial knife, a weapon symbolic to the Gurkhas, and severed the head of a dead insurgent after a long battle in the Helmand province.
He then left the body, but took the head with him, mutilating him so that DNA had to be used to ensure the identity of the fighter.
This has been a huge embarrassment for Britain, as well as for allied efforts in Afghanistan, with the beheading considered a direct insult to the local Muslims. In Islamic culture, the entire body is buried, and soldiers have worked to ensure that families of those killed in the war are given body parts to complete the burial.
The soldier’s actions have been called “inappropriate”, but he faces much more serious consequences than a slap on the wrist. A court marshal is likely, and if found guilty, he will be jailed for the offense.
There is some question as to exactly what his motives might have been, but there may be a connection to the deaths of three soldiers in his regiment last week, after an Afghan soldier was exposed as an extremist.