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Hearing Opens For U.S. Soldier Accused Of Afghan Massacre

November 06, 2012

Prosecutors have told a U.S. military court that a soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers was "lucid" during a March shooting spree in Kandahar.

They also said that U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales admitted to the crimes.

He appeared at a pretrial hearing on November 5 to decide if he should face a full court martial.

Bales could face the death penalty if convicted.

He is accused of opening fire on civilians in at least two villages in southern Kandahar Province.

Nine children were among the dead.

The shooting is the worst by U.S. forces on civilians in the 11-year war.

Bales faces 16 counts of premeditated murder and six counts of attempted murder.

The hearing is taking place at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa

Source: http://www.rferl.org/content/military-hearing-opens-us-soldier-bales-accused-of-afghan-massacre/24762192.html

Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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