Twelve American soldiers face trial over an secret "kill team" that allegedly blew up and shot Afghan civilians at random and collected their fingers as trophies.
Five of the soldiers are charged with murdering three Afghan men who were allegedly killed for sport in separate attacks this year. Seven other soldiers are accused of covering up the killings as well as a violent assault on a new recruit who exposed the murders when he reported other abuses, including members of the unit smoking hashish stolen from civilians.
Following the arrest of the original five accused in June, seven other soldiers were charged last month with attempting to cover up the killings, blocking the investigation and violent assault on the soldier who reported the smoking of hashish. The 74 charges against the 12 soldiers include accusations of illegal drug and alcohol use.
At least two of the five Army soldiers charged in the deaths of three Afghan civilians had kept body parts taken from Afghan corpses, according to new documents released by the Army on Wednesday.