AFP reports, via CommonDreams:
An investigator told how he found dismembered fingers near the quarters of an alleged rogue US army unit accused of killing Afghans for sport and taking trophies from the bodies.
The gruesome testimony came as a third US soldier faced a pre-trial hearing over the alleged killings — after which the rogue soldiers allegedly posed for photos with their victims — in southern Afghanistan earlier this year.
If proved in a full court martial, the crimes would be among the worst committed by US forces in Afghanistan, and could deal a blow to efforts to win over the support of ordinary Afghans in the war-torn country.
Private Andrew Holmes, one of five soldiers accused of going rogue, listened quietly as Special Agent Benjamin Stevenson described finding severed fingers near where members of the unit lived.
Army prosecutors allege Holmes participated in the execution of an Afghan the southern Kandahar province in January, kept a finger bone from an Afghan corpse and smoked hashish with some of the other killers.
On Monday, Stevenson, testifying by speakerphone, said he had a map provided by the army’s star witness, Corporal Jeremy Morlock, showing where investigators could find the digits allegedly taken from Afghan civilians.
Using Morlock’s map, Stevenson said he and another agent located a large, protective dirt barrier near the soldiers’ residences in Forward Operating Base Ramrod.
On top of the barrier, they found a plastic bottle containing two fingers, wrapped in cloth.
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