Pentagon revives probe into killing of Afghan civilians

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon has resumed an investigation into allegations that US special forces were complicit in the torture and killings of Afghan civilians in 2012 and 2013, an official said Tuesday.


The statement from a spokesman for the Army´s Criminal Investigation Command confirmed the renewed probe following reports on the issue in The New York Times.

Under scrutiny is the role of US Army Green Berets in the deaths of 18 men in the Wardak province outside the Afghan capital of Kabul.

Human Rights Watch has previously called for an investigation into the issue, following a report by Rolling Stone magazine that suggested US troops were complicit in the killings.

Rolling Stone reported the remains of victims were found buried near the base of a Green Beret unit, and said locals saw American troops standing by during executions.

“During the case review process, information and leads were identified that demand further investigation,” said spokesman Chris Grey about the renewed probe.

“We are fully committed to investigating the allegations until we are confident that we have exhausted all leads.”

The interpreter of the unit was arrested by Afghan authorities and accused of torturing and killing civilians. He claimed he was following American orders.

When the allegations initially surfaced, they caused a rift between coalition forces and the government of then President Hamid Karzai. The Green Beret unit in question was forced to leave its operating district.