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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Tuesday, September 28, 2010
International

Australian troops to be charged over Afghan deaths

Three Australian soldiers will face charges including manslaughter over a raid in Afghanistan that left five children dead, Australia's chief military prosecutor said on Monday.

The court action follows an operation in February last year to clear a compound in Uruzgan province where Australian forces believed a Taliban leader was hiding.

Director of Military Prosecutions Brigadier Lyn McDade said the three "will be charged with various service offences, including manslaughter, dangerous conduct, failing to comply with a lawful general order and prejudicial conduct".

A suspected insurgent was also killed in the night raid, while four people were wounded. Two of the servicemen said they would vigorously fight the charges, which are being laid after an Australian military investigation.

"We will strenuously defend the charges and we look forward to the opportunity of publicly clearing our reputations, as well as the reputation of the Australian Defence Force," they said through their lawyers.

A defence department spokesman said at least one special operations soldier will face a manslaughter charge, along with a count of dangerous conduct.

Another of the accused has been charged with failing to comply with a lawful order while the charges against the third accused have not yet been released because the soldier is travelling overseas.

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