Afghanistan: US soldiers charged over ‘kill squad’

“Twelve American soldiers face charges over a secret ‘kill team’ that allegedly blew up and shot Afghan civilians at random and collected their fingers as trophies”, the September 9 Guardian said. “Five of the soldiers are charged with murdering three Afghan men who were allegedly killed for sport in separate attacks this year.”

The other seven are charged with helping to cover up these atrocities and assaulting a soldier who exposed the murders, the Guardian said.

“In one of the most serious accusations of war crimes to emerge from the Afghan conflict, the killings are alleged to have been carried out by members of a Stryker infantry brigade based in Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan.”

While on patrol over the following months, members of the “kill team” allegedly killed at least three Afghan civilians, the Guardian said.

It said there were reports “at least one of the soldiers collected the fingers of the victims as souvenirs and that some of them posed for photographs with the bodies”.

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