Senior Australian special forces troopers drank beer out of the prosthetic leg of a dead Taliban soldier at an unauthorised bar in Afghanistan, which was revealed after the Guardian published a photograph of the act.
A number of photographs obtained by the Guardian show one senior trooper – who is still serving – sculling from the leg in an unofficial bar known as the Fat Lady’s Arms, which was set up inside Australia’s special forces base in Tarin Kowt, the capital of Uruzgan province, in 2009.
The sculling picture is the first to be published that confirms previous reports of the practice of using the leg as a drinking vessel, reported the newspaper.
Some troopers told the newspaper that the practice was widely tolerated by officers at high levels and even involved some of them. This was despite the limb potentially being a war trophy – an item Australian troopers were forbidden to remove from the battlefield, let alone keep.
The leg is believed to have belonged to a suspected Taliban fighter killed during an SASR 2 squadron assault on two compounds and a tunnel complex at Kakarak in Uruzgan in April 2009. It was then allegedly taken from the battlefield and kept in the Fat Lady’s Arms, where visitors would sometimes use it to drink from.