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Court-martial opens for officer on murder charges

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) – Soldiers who served under an 82nd Airborne Division lieutenant have testified that the officer ordered members of his platoon to shoot any Afghans they saw on motorcycles during a patrol last summer

The Fayetteville Observer reports (http://bit.ly/13nlPfL ) Pvt. Zachary Thomas, who was on the patrol on July 2, 2012, said 1st Lt. Clint Lorance’s first words to another soldier who reported seeing a motorcycle were “Why aren’t you shooting yet?”

Lorance is charged with murder, attempted murder, making false statements, ordering soldiers to wrongfully discharge their firearms and impeding the investigation. His court-martial opened Tuesday.

Lorance faces life in prison. His lawyers say he was trying to protect his unit.

Prosecutors say three men on a motorcycle approached the patrol last July. Two were killed and the third ran away.


Information from: The Fayetteville Observer, http://www.fayobserver.com

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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