Australia arrests former soldier for alleged war crimes in Afghanistan – Middle East Monitor


Australian authorities said on Monday they had arrested a former soldier for allegedly killing an Afghan civilian while deployed with the country’s defense force there.Reuters reports.

The 41-year-old man is expected to be charged in an Australian court with one count of war crime murder, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, the Australian Federal Police said in a statement.

A four-year investigation in 2020 found that Australian Special Forces allegedly killed 39 unarmed prisoners and civilians in Afghanistan, and senior leaders were said to have forced junior soldiers to kill defenseless prisoners to “blood” them for combat.

Following the report’s recommendations, 19 current and former members of the Australian military were referred to a special investigator to determine whether there was sufficient evidence to prosecute.

Australia was part of a NATO-led international force that trained Afghan security forces and fought the Taliban for two decades, after Western-backed forces ousted the Islamist militants from power in 2001.

More than 39,000 Australian troops served in Afghanistan and 41 were killed.

READ: UK apologizes for asking Afghan asylum seekers to get documents stamped by the Taliban

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