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U.S. Army plans to charge soldier with murder

NBC News has learned that the U.S. Army will charge an American soldier with murder after he shot at and killed a severely wounded suspected militant last month.
/ Source: NBC News

The U.S. Army will charge a 1st Armored Division officer with murder after he allegedly shot and killed a severely wounded suspected Muqtada al-Sadr loyalist last month in the southern Iraqi town of Kufa, officials said Wednesday.

One official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division has not yet publicly announced its decision, told The Associated Press that the captain will be charged soon.

The officer’s name was not disclosed.

On June 4, the U.S. military announced an investigation into possible violations of rules of engagement involving the case, which occurred on May 21 when U.S. forces fired on a vehicle carrying several al-Sadr loyalists, severely injuring the driver and a passenger, according to NBC News.

After the vehicle came to a stop, the Army captain allegedly approached the car and shot the wounded driver, killing him instantly.

Military officials told NBC's Jim Miklaszewski that the soldier was apparently acting in good faith, shooting the badly wounded driver to "put him out of misery." But even if that was the case, the officials said, the soldier’s action violated U.S. military rules and international law and military officials felt they had no choice but to charge him with murder.