Afghanistan — U.S. Command Launches Probe Into Afghan Civilian Deaths

KABUL, Afghanistan, May 20, 2010 — U.S. Forces Afghanistan offi­cials have launched a crim­i­nal inves­ti­ga­tion into alle­ga­tions that a small num­ber of U.S. sol­diers were respon­si­ble for the unlaw­ful deaths of as many as three Afghan civil­ians.

The inves­ti­ga­tions also include alle­ga­tions of ille­gal drug use, assault and con­spir­a­cy, offi­cials said.

No charges have been pre­ferred yet, offi­cials said, but one sol­dier has been placed in pre-tri­al con­fine­ment.

The Army’s Crim­i­nal Inves­ti­ga­tion Com­mand ini­ti­at­ed its inves­ti­ga­tion after receiv­ing cred­i­ble infor­ma­tion from the sol­diers’ unit ear­li­er this month, accord­ing to a writ­ten state­ment com­mand offi­cials released today.

Com­mand offi­cials are “com­mit­ted to the secu­ri­ty and safe­ty of the Afghan pop­u­la­tion, and will ensure any crimes are inves­ti­gat­ed ful­ly and those respon­si­ble will be held account­able,” the state­ment said.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)