Thursday, December 21, 2006
Camp Pendleton authorities have charged eight Marines in connection with an incident in Haditha Iraq in November 2005, in which 24 Iraqi civilians were killed. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.
The charges come after nine months of investigation of the incident in Haditha by military investigators. The Iraqis were killed when a Marine squad stormed into several homes after their convoy was hit by a roadside bomb, killing one marine. More than 10 women and children were among those killed .
Chief of Staff of Marine Corps Installations West, Colonel Stewart Navarre, says the investigation shows initial reports claiming the Iraqis were killed by a bomb were false.
Navarre: These charges include murder, dereliction of duty, false information and obstruction of justice.
Four of the Marines are charged with unpremeditated murder. Four other more senior officers who were not present during the incident are charged with dereliction of duty and in some cases false information and obstruction of justice.
The charges signal the start of a second level of military investigation before General Matthis decides next year whether to refer the case to courts martial. Alison St John KPBS news.