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Poland trial begins for soldiers accused of murdering Afghan civilians

[JURIST] The court martial for seven Polish soldiers accused of killing six civilians in Afghanistan began Tuesday in Poland. The solders are being prosecuted [Gazeta report, in Polish] for violating provisions of Geneva Conventions [ICRC materials], which provide protection for civilian villages that pose no threat to soldiers. Prosecutor Jakub Mytych claimed [AP report] in his opening statement that the seven soldiers launched an unprovoked attack on the village of Nangrarkhel in August of 2007. The trial is expected to continue for several months. If convicted, the soldiers could face life in prison.

Prosecutors formally charged [JURIST report] the seven soldiers in November of 2007. Six of the solders were charged with murder, and a seventh was indicted on lesser charges. Six people, including three children, were killed during the attack. Three women also suffered severe injuries resulting in amputated limbs.

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