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This is really sickening:

US soldiers killed Afghan civilians for sport and collected fingers as trophies

Twelve American soldiers face charges over a secret "kill team" that allegedly blew up and shot Afghan civilians at random and collected their fingers as trophies.

There are five soldiers charged with murder and seven others are charged in the cover-up and assault by beating of a recruit who reported them.

In one of the most serious accusations of war crimes to emerge from the Afghan conflict, the killings are alleged to have been carried out by members of a Stryker infantry brigade based in Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan.

According to investigators and legal documents, discussion of killing Afghan civilians began after the arrival of Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs at forward operating base Ramrod last November. Other soldiers told the army's criminal investigation command that Gibbs boasted of the things he got away with while serving in Iraq and said how easy it would be to "toss a grenade at someone and kill them".

The entire article is chilling and describes in great detail some of the civilian murders carried out by this "killing" team.  It appears today on the front page of The Guardian.

Winning hearts and minds yet?

Originally posted to Sydserious on Wed Sep 08, 2010 at 09:10 PM PDT.

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