Soldier’s death mask ‘unacceptable’

Paris AFP-JIJI

The French Army regards the actions of one of its soldiers photographed while posing in a skeleton mask in Mali as “unacceptable” behavior, a military spokesman said Monday.

“This is unacceptable behavior,” Col. Thierry Burkhard told a news conference.

The image, which has spread widely on the Internet, was “not representative of the action that brought France to Mali to help” or of that which soldiers carried out “putting their lives in peril,” Burkhard said.

The photograph shows a soldier at Niono, in central Mali, hiding his face from desert sand using a scarf that resembles a death mask. It is reminiscent of a character in the popular combat video game “Call of Duty.”

The army is working to identify the soldier, Burkhard said.