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40 Afghan civilians killed or wounded by US marines

AFP

April 15, 2007

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US military has determined that more than 40 Afghan civilians were killed or wounded by US marines after a suicide bombing in a village near Jalalabad last month, The Washington Post reported Sunday.

Citing the US commander who ordered the probe, the newspaper said there was no evidence that the marine special operations platoon came under small-arms fire after the bombing, although the marines reported taking enemy fire and seeing people with weapons.

The troops continued shooting at perceived threats as they traveled miles from the site of the March 4 attack, said Major General Frank Kearney, head of Special Operations Command Central, according to the report.

They hit several vehicles, killing at least 10 people and wounding 33, among them children and elderly villagers, The Post said.

"We found ... no brass that we can confirm that small-arms fire came at them," Kearney is quoted by the paper as saying. "We have testimony from marines that is in conflict with unanimous testimony from civilians at the sites."

The results of the preliminary investigation are similar to the findings of an official Afghan human rights inquiry and contradict initial reports that the civilians might have been killed in a small-arms attack that followed the suicide bombing, The Post said.


:: Article nr. 32162 sent on 15-apr-2007 17:47 ECT

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Link: news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070415/pl_afp/usafghanistanmilitaryrights_070415060652



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