msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 9/27/2004 1:11:44 PM ET 2004-09-27T17:11:44

Two U.S. soldiers have been charged with murder in the death of an Iraqi civilian, the military announced Monday.

A military statement identified the soldiers as Staff Sgt. Johnny Horne Jr. and Staff Sgt. Cardenas Alban, both from Company C, 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment of the 1st Cavalry Division, based at Fort Riley, Kan.

The military declined to provide details about the case, saying an investigation is ongoing.

But the statement said the alleged incidents are not related to murder charges filed against Sgt. Michael Williams and Spc. Brent May, from the same unit. They were charged in the deaths of three Iraqis, the military announced last week.

Military prosecutors have opened several investigations into U.S. soldiers in connection with deaths of Iraqis since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s regime last year.

On Sunday, the military announced that a U.S. soldier had been sentenced to 25 years in prison for the murder of an Iraqi National Guard soldier in northern Iraq in May of this year.

Spc. Federico Merida, 21, from Briscoe, N.C., had pleaded guilty to murder and to making false official statements during his court-martial, the army said.

As well as a prison sentence, he was dishonorably discharged and reduced in rank to private, a statement said.    

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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