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Germany apologizes for army training video

German officials have apologized for an army instructor's videotaped directions to imagine blacks in Bronx, while firing a machine gun.

Adolfo Carrion Jr. praised the instructor's recent dismissal as "positive steps in correcting blatant misperceptions."

The widely viewed video clip shows the instructor telling the soldier, "You are in the Bronx. A black van is stopping in front of you. Three African-Americans are getting out, and they are insulting your mother in the worst ways. ... Act."

The soldier fires his machine gun and yells an obscenity several times in English. At one point, the instructor tells the soldier to curse louder.

The 90-second clip, recently broadcast on German national television, was reportedly posted on a Web site used by soldiers to exchange private videos.

The German Defense Ministry said earlier this week it dismissed the instructor, who has not been named, and that the soldier is being investigated. The Defense Ministry said authorities have known of the July 2006 video since January.

Carrion's office on Wednesday released letters denouncing the video comments from the German Consul General's office and from the mayor of Rendsburg, the town where the video was made.

Carrion's statement noted he had talked to German Consul General Hans-Jürgen Heimsoeth, and a spokeswoman for Carrion said the consul general had apologized.

The letter from Rendsburg Mayor Andreas Breitner stated that the behavior in the video was "unacceptable and irresponsible." The letter from Heimsoeth also calls the incident "unacceptable."

Carrion had visited Germany a few weeks ago to promote tourism in the Bronx.

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