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12 U.S. Soldiers Charged in Afghan Civilian Murders

Five U.S. soldiers have been accused of murdering Afghan civilians for sport, while seven others have been implicated in the cover-up, according to CBS News.

Besides the murder and cover-up charges, the soldiers are also accused of mutilating corpses, taking pot shots at Afghan civilians, smoking hashish, and beating up a private who revealed the group's actions. The ordeal reportedly began when Sgt. Calvin Gibbs joked about how easy it would be "toss a grenade at someone and kill them."

From there, five soldiers allegedly formed a "kill team," and on separate occasions murdered three Afghan civilians that seem to have been chosen at random.

The family of one of those soldiers charged says it tried to warn the Army of the group's killings. According to the Associated Press, "Christopher Winfield says his son Adam was so disgusted after the first killing that he sent Facebook messages home asking for help. Winfield says he called Fort Lewis and a military hotline asking officials to investigate — but to no avail."

According to the younger Winfield's attorney, Spc. Winfield was ordered to shoot at the third victim, but deliberately shot high.

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