5 Sep 2009

Kabul embassy guards sacked

7:59 am on 5 September 2009

Eight private security guards at the US embassy in Kabul have been sacked over claims that they took part in drunken parties and lewd bullying rituals.

The embassy said the guards, who were photographed in various stages of nudity, had now left Afghanistan.

Embassy officials did not confirm their nationalities or names.

Details of the scandal were revealed this week by the Project on Government Oversight which said guards had brawled, drunk vodka from each other's buttocks and urinated on people.

The embassy said a team from the State Department is in Kabul to investigate the scandal.

The company the guards worked for, ArmorGroup North America, has not yet responded to the claims.

The BBC reports American use of private security firms in its conflicts has been highly controversial in recent years.

The Iraqi government earlier banned Blackwater after its security guards killed at least 14 civilians in Baghdad in 2007.

Almost 1000 personnel work at the embassy. US officials say they are satisfied that the compound is properly guarded.