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Report: Australian special forces unlawfully killed 39 Afghan civilians

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 11/19/20, 01:08 am

The military report released Thursday confirmed killings, abuse of power, and coverups within the elite Special Air Service stationed in Afghanistan. The findings follow a four-year-investigation and recommend 19 soldiers face criminal investigation. Australian Defense Force Chief Gen. Angus Campbell said he accepted all the recommendations.

What are the details of the report? Campbell said new patrol members in some instances shot prisoners to mark their first kill in what they called “blooding.” The soldiers planted weapons or radios on the murdered prisoners and reported them as enemies killed in action. Patrol commanders, usually sergeants or corporals, were involved or helped to cover up the crimes. The majority of the abuse happened in 2012 and 2013 and not during the heat of battle, Campbell said.

Dig deeper: Read my World Tour report on violence in Afghanistan despite ongoing peace talks.


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Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD's Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria. Follow her on Twitter @onize_ohiks.

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