Thu, 30 Nov 2023

The 41-year-old man, who was deployed in Afghanistan, is accused of having killed a civilian. A four-year investigation revealed that Australian special forces killed 39 unarmed civilians and prisoners in the country.

Australian authorities said on Monday they had arrested a former soldier for allegedly killing an Afghan civilian while deployed with Afghanistan's defence force.

The accused is expected to be charged in an Australian court with one count of war crime murder, which carries a maximum penalty of life in jail, the Australian Federal Police said in a statement.

A four-year investigation in 2020 found that Australian special forces allegedly killed 39 unarmed prisoners and civilians in Afghanistan, with senior commandos reportedly forcing junior soldiers to kill defenceless captives in order to "blood" them for combat.

Following the recommendations of the report, 19 current and former members of Australia's military were then referred to a special investigator to determine if there was sufficient evidence to prosecute.

Australia was part of a NATO-led international force that trained Afghan security forces and fought the Taliban for two decades after Western-backed forces ousted the Islamist militants from power in 2001.

More than 39,000 Australian troops served in Afghanistan and 41 were killed.

(FRANCE 24 with Reuters)

Originally published on France24

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