Eight security guards at the US Embassy in Afghanistan were sacked and two resigned following claims of lewd behaviour and sexual misconduct at their living quarters.
The Kabul senior management team of ArmorGroup North America, the private contractor that provides guards for the US State Department, was also "being replaced immediately", an embassy statement said.
The sacked guards, who left Afghanistan yesterday, all appeared in photographs depicting guards and supervisors in various stages of nudity at parties flowing with alcohol, the embassy said. Their names and nationalities were not released.
The scandal surfaced this week when an independent watchdog said the embassy guards were subjected to abuse and hazing by supervisors.
The Project on Government Oversight said the situation had led to a breakdown in morale and leadership that compromised security at the embassy in Kabul, where nearly 1,000 US diplomats, staff and Afghan nationals work.
Nearly two-thirds of the 450 embassy guards were Gurkhas from Nepal and northern India who spoke little English, a situation that created communication breakdowns, the project said. Pantomime was often used to convey orders and instructions.
In at least one case, supervisors brought prostitutes into the quarters where the guards lived, a serious breach of security and discipline, the watchdog said. In other instances, members of the guard force drew Afghans into activities forbidden by Muslims, such as drinking alcohol, it said.
On Thursday, the embassy said alcohol had been banned at Camp Sullivan - the off-site location where ArmorGroup guards live - and diplomatic security staff were assigned to the camp.
A team from the state department inspector general arrived in Afghanistan and interviewed 50 people yesterday, spokesman Ian Kelly said.
Mr Kelly said he did not know whether ArmorGroup would continue to employee the guards elsewhere, but Washington made it clear that the guards in the photographs must go.
The state department also insisted ArmorGroup replace its management team on the ground.
Mr Kelly did not rule out the termination of ArmorGroup's embassy contract. "That may be the end result of this, but as I say we have an investigation going on right now," he said.