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US Marines probed over nude photos of female colleagues

The Pentagon has announced an inquiry into allegations male recruits shared nude photos of female soldiers online. The pictures were reportedly taken and posted without permission, which may constitute a felony.

Military authorities have launched an inquiry into allegations that members of the US Marine Corps (USMC) posted nude pictures of female colleagues on social media, officials confirmed on Monday. The pictures, uploaded to a closed Facebook group, were reportedly both taken and posted without the womens' permission.

The posts on the "Marines United" page also contained vulgar comments about some of the soldiers.

"The Marine Corps is deeply concerned about allegations regarding the derogatory online comments and sharing of salacious photographs in Marines United, a closed website," said a statement on the USMC website.

Condemning the incident in no uncertain terms, the statement added that "this behavior destroys morale, erodes trust and degrades the individual. The Marine Corps does not condone this sort of behavior, which undermines its core values."

Officials did not confirm immediately how many military personnel were suspected of involvement, though the Center for Investigative Reporting said at least a dozen female Marines were fully identified on the page by name, rank and location.

The alleged misconduct will now be probed by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). Although the organization said that it "does not discuss the details of ongoing investigations," it did point out that "posting explicit photos without the permission of the person in the photos…is potentially a felony."

The offending social media sites have been deleted from Facebook and Google at the request of USMC.

es/msh (AFP, AP)

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