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Alcohol Banned at Camp Housing Guards for US Embassy in Afghanistan

By VOA News
03 September 2009

The U.S. embassy in Afghanistan has banned alcohol at a camp that houses security guards who are under investigation for alleged lewd behavior and other inappropriate acts, including abusive treatment of locally-hired Afghans.

The embassy in Kabul released a statement Thursday saying "alcohol has been prohibited at Camp Sullivan," the offsite living quarters for guards hired by the ArmorGroup, a U.S. private contractor.

Earlier this week, an independent U.S. government oversight group said it had seen e-mails, photos and videos that portray scenes in which ArmorGroup North America superiors were urinating on people and engaging in nude partying. Those who declined to participate were said to be ridiculed, demoted or even fired.

AmorGroup North America employs about 450 guards - mostly Nepalese Ghurkas to provide security at the embassy.

The non-partisan Project on Government Oversight said in a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that the actions of the security company employees were serious contractual violations that jeopardized the safety of embassy staff.

State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters Wednesday that the embassy in Kabul has been well-protected under ArmorGroup North America. However, he said, the department expects prompt action regarding the allegations, which could lead to terminating the defense contractor's $189 million contract.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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