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UN expert invited to investigate alleged US extrajudicial killings in Iraq, Afghanistan

[JURIST] UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions [official website] Philip Alston [JURIST news archive] said Friday he is planning an official visit to the US to investigate allegations of unlawful killings by US military and non-military actors in Iraq and Afghanistan. Incidents like the killings of Iraqi civilians in Haditha [JURIST news archive], prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, and civilian deaths caused by airstrikes in Afghanistan have all raised issues that Alston would like to investigate. At a news conference following his latest report [UN summary] to the UN Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) Alston said he wanted to include "non-state actors and military contractors" in reference to the September 16 killing of 17 Iraqis by the Blackwater security firm [JURIST report].

While praising the US for inviting him to visit, Alston expressed concern that almost 30 countries, including members of the UN Human Rights Council, have not responded to similar requests to visit them. AP has more.

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