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Afghanistan - United States

US soldiers on trial for Afghan atrocities

Le soldat Jeremy Morlock, le 23 mars 2011.
Le soldat Jeremy Morlock, le 23 mars 2011. Reuters/US Army

Photographs of US soldiers posing with dead bodies were published in a German news magazine on Monday, ahead of the trial of a soldier accused of killing Afghan civilians for sport, which begins Wednesday.

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One of the images shows Jeremy Morlock smiling over the corpse of an Afghan man he allegedly murdered in southern Afghanistan.

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Morlock is accused to have been part of a drug-addled rogue unit that slaughtered Afghan civilians in Kandahar early last year.

Another of the photos published in the German magazine Der Spiegel also show Private Andrew Holmes, also facing murder charges.

The court martial has already been postponed once, but an army spokesperson said Morlock will go to trial Wednesday, despite the surprise appearance of the photos.

Morlock is the governent's star witness against four other soldiers accused of the execution of Afghan civilians, in particular the alleged ringleader, Staff Sergeant Calvin R Gibbs.

It is unclear how Der Speigel obtained the photos, but the army apologised on Monday for their appearance, saying they were "repugnant to us as human beings and contrary to the standards and values of the United States Army".
 

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