US soldier jailed for seven years over ‘thrill’ murders of Afghan civilians


Amy Fallon
Guardian

September 24, 2011

A US soldier has been sentenced to seven years in prison for his role in the murders of Afghan civilians last year.

Pvt 1st Class Andrew Holmes, 21, was among five soldiers charged over the “thrill killings” of the three civilians during patrols in Kandahar. The murders have been described as among the most serious war crimes charges to emerge from the Afghanistan war.

Holmes, from Boise, Idaho, confessed in court to firing a heavy machine gun at a boy from 15 feet away, after his co-defendant threw a grenade at him.

He was accused of directly participating in the first killing and initially charged with premeditated murder among other charges.

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