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GIs Were Punished in Afghan Abuse Case

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From a Times Staff Writer

Army officials said Friday that eight soldiers were disciplined last year for threatening to kill detainees in Afghanistan and taking photographs of the abuse in a series of incidents with parallels to the scandal at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

The soldiers, from a platoon based at Ft. Drum, N.Y., were accused of dereliction of duty and were demoted, ordered to forfeit some pay and given other “nonjudicial punishments” for their roles in the events a year ago at Firebase Tycz near the Afghan village of Deh Rawod.

Authorities declined to name the soldiers, who had ranks of sergeant and below, because they had not been formally accused of a crime or court-martialed.

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The case was disclosed in military documents released Thursday and reported in The Times, but it was not clear whether the soldiers had been disciplined.

According to Army investigators, the soldiers posed with rifles and pistols aimed at the heads of bound prisoners while other soldiers took their photographs. Other photos appeared to show beatings of prisoners. Troops also mugged for “trophy shots” with the corpse of an enemy fighter who had invaded their camp.

The case echoes the scandal at Abu Ghraib, where soldiers photographed the torture and sexual humiliation of prisoners.

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