Germany's Bild newspaper said that the new pictures showed that troops serving in Afghanistan regularly photographed human remains.

In one of the new photographs, a soldier is pointing a gun at a skeleton, in another a beret has been perched on top of a skull.
  
One of the pictures shows bones positioned on the ground around four skulls to form the words CSR team, which the newspaper said was an abbreviation of the military term campsite reconnaissance.

The defence ministry has insisted that the taking of the macabre photographs was not widespread, but soldiers told Bild it was a common way for Germans serving in the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to pass the time in between peacekeeping and reconstruction activities.
  
One soldier said: "A lot of soldiers have a got a digital camera and a computer. In their free time, we swap photos."

Visit cancelled

Franz Josef Jung, the German defence minister, has cancelled a visit to Asia so that he can stay in Berlin to deal with the scandal, Bild reported, although his office did not immediately confirm this.
  
Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, told Focus magazine, in an edition to be published on Monday, that the photographs could compromise the safety of the 2,800 German troops currently deployed in Afghanistan.
  
"It is essential that in Afghanistan it is clear they know that such acts are not tolerated and are punished severely," she said.

Two soldiers have been suspended over the first set of photographs which were published earlier this week.