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Army: Soldiers formed ‘kill team’ to randomly execute Afghans

By Associated Press
Wednesday, August 25, 2010 19:19 EDT
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Five soldiers accused of killing civilians in Afghanistan are now facing additional charges of conspiracy to commit premeditated murder — a plot that allegedly began when one soldier discussed how easy it would be to “toss a grenade” at Afghan civilians, The Seattle Times reported Wednesday.

The five soldiers were charged with murder in June for the deaths of three Afghan civilians in Kandahar Province this year. According to charging summaries newly released by the Army, additional allegations of conspiracy have since been filed against those soldiers, and seven others have been charged in connection with the conspiracy or with attempting to cover it up.

Some platoon members told investigators that Army Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs began joking with other soldiers last December about how easy it would be to “toss a grenade” at Afghan civilians and kill them, the newspaper said. One soldier responded that it was a stupid idea, and another believed Gibbs was “feeling out the platoon.”

But eventually, Gibbs formed what one called a “kill team” to randomly execute Afghan civilians while on patrol, the documents said. No motive was discussed. Gibbs has denied any involvement in the killings.

FULL AP STORY FOLLOWS BELOW

 
 
 
 
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