5 British marines charged with murder in Afghan death
LONDON (AFP, AP) - Five of Britain's elite Royal Marines have been charged with murder following an engagement with an insurgent last year, the Ministry of Defence said on Sunday.
British military police arrested seven Royal Marines last Thursday on suspicion of murder in connection with the incident. Two more marines were arrested - one on Friday and one on Saturday - taking the total number of arrests to nine, a defence ministry spokesman said. Four have since been released without charge.
Officials said the incident involved an insurgent in Helmand province, where the majority of Britain's 9,500 troops in Afghanistan were deployed. They said no civilians were involved.
The Ministry of Defence said the cases had been referred to the Services Prosecuting Authority, which oversees military trials. It said the suspects were in custody. They were the first British troops to be charged with murder in Afghanistan since deployments began in 2001.