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US Embassy in Kabul Fires Guards Over Lewd Party Allegations

By VOA News
04 September 2009

The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan has fired eight security guards who were photographed harassing subordinates and participating in lewd, drunken parties in their living quarters.

An embassy statement says the dismissed guards left Kabul Friday along with two other guards who voluntarily resigned.

The guards worked for a private U.S. company called ArmorGroup North American, which provides security for the U.S. State Department.

The embassy says the company's senior management team at the Kabul embassy is also being immediately replaced.

The scandal surfaced after a government watchdog group Project on Government Oversight said it discovered e-mails, photographs and videos that showed ArmorGroup superiors urinating on people and engaging in nude partying.

The embassy says a team of state department investigators has arrived to investigate. Alcohol has also been banned at the offsite living quarters for guards hired by ArmorGroup, Camp Sullivan.

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

A State Department spokesman said Thursday that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is "genuinely offended" by the reports of misconduct, including allegations of abusive treatment of locally hired Afghans.

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

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