- Chinese official posted a doctored image of Aussie soldier and Afghan child
- The soldier is holding a knife to the child’s throat and covering face with flag
- Australia is investigating war crimes allegations against troops in Afghanistan
AT Monitoring Desk
KABUL: The Chinese government has attacked Australia over war crimes allegations against SAS troops with an image showing an Aussie soldier holding a knife to the throat of an Afghan child.
China’s foreign ministry spokesman Lijian Zhao posted the computer-generated image on Twitter on Monday, writing: ‘Shocked by murder of Afghan civilians and prisoners by Australian soldiers. We strongly condemn such acts, and call for holding them accountable.’
The gruesome image shows a smiling soldier in uniform covering a barefoot child with the Aussie flag as the youngster clutches a lamb.
The soldier holds a large, bloody knife to the child’s throat above the sarcastic caption: ‘Don’t be afraid, we are coming to bring you peace!’
The image refers to a recently launched investigation into allegations that a small number of Australian troops illegally killed Afghan civilians including two 14-year-old boys whose throats were slit.
Australian soldiers cut the throats of two young boys and dumped their bodies in a river because they thought they were Taliban sympathizers.
The country’s Prime Minster Scott Morrison slammed the ‘repugnant’ post and said he has asked China and Twitter to remove it.
“We are shocked by reports on the murder of Afghan civilians and prisoners by Australian special forces soldiers. We strongly condemn such acts in breach of international conventions and human conscience. We call for a thorough investigation and holding perpetrators accountable,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Zhao Lijian had earlier tweeted.
This is as 13 Australian Special Forces soldiers face dismissal in relation to a report on alleged “unlawful killings” in Afghanistan, the head of the country’s army said.
An independent report published last week in redacted form said there was evidence that 39 unarmed Afghan prisoners and civilians were killed by 19 Australian soldiers.
None of the 19 soldiers were identified in the report, which was written by a state judge appointed by the inspector-general of defense. The 19 current and former soldiers have been referred for possible prosecution.