Two US marines face criminal charges after being filmed urinating on dead Taliban fighters in a video which has become infamous on YouTube.

The footage, which is less than one minute long, shows Staff Sergeants Joseph Chamblin and Edward Deptola urinating on three Taliban corpses in their US uniforms. One of the men chuckles as they do so. while another says "Have a great day, buddy".

The Marine Corps said the urination took place during a counter-insurgency operation in the Musa Qala district of Helmand province on 27 July, 2011.

Chamblin and Deptola will also face court-martial for failing to properly prevent or report the misconduct of their junior colleagues, who were captured firing rifles indiscriminately during the same video.

The video is likely to have aggravated anti-American sentiment in Afghanistan after a decade-long war which has seen several other cases of abuse, notably the systemic abuse of prisoners in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in 2004.

At the time of the video's release, social media sites buzzed with outrage, with several activists flocking to Twitter to express disgust at the US military forces.

"The Urine of Democracy - A nation that does not respect the dead would not respect the living [Homo sapien] #marines #us" tweeted Mike Derderian, an American cartoonist and writer.

US Marines