A group of rogue U.S. soldiers allegedly began a months-long spree starting last January in which they randomly targeted and killed Afghan civilians and even dismembered some corpses as well as photographing them and hoarding skulls and human bones, the Washington Post
The Post identified the soldiers as members of a platoon from the 5th Stryker Combat Brigade of the 2d Infantry Division. The paper said a subsequent investigation raised accusations that military authorities ignored warnings about that atrocities were being committed.
Army officials have declined to comment on the case citing an ongoing investigation. The accused soldiers have denied any wrongdoing, the Post said. Pre-trial hearings for those involved are due to start this fall at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state, the home of the Stryker Brigade.
Charging documents said three killings had been carried out by five members of the platoon between January 15 and May, beginning with the slaying of an Afghan man who had been walking towards the soldiers. One threw a grenade on the ground to create the illusion that an attack was occurring and the soldiers opened fire on him, the Post said.
Seven other soldiers face charges relating to the case included hashish use, attempts to obstruct the investigation and retaliation against a soldier who tried to alert others to what was going on.