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November 28, 2020

Australia says 13 soldiers told they face dismissal after Afghan killings

World

 
November 28, 2020

SYDNEY: Australia has told 13 special forces soldiers they face dismissal in relation to a report on alleged unlawful killings in Afghanistan, the head of the country’s army said on Friday.

An independent report published last week in redacted form said there was evidence that 39 unarmed Afghan prisoners and civilians were killed by 19 Australian soldiers.None of the 19 soldiers were identified in the report, which was written by a state judge appointed by the inspector-general of defence.

The 19 current and former soldiers have been referred for possible prosecution.Under mounting pressure, Lieutenant General Rick Burr, the head of the Australian army, said 13 current soldiers have been issued with notices that could eventually lead to their termination.

Burr did not identify any of the 13 soldiers, but said they were not part of the 19 current and former soldiers who face possible criminal charges. He said the 13 soldiers that face dismissal have two weeks to respond to the notice. “At this time, 13 individuals have been issued administrative action notices in relation to the Afghanistan inquiry,” Burr told reporters in Canberra.