Twelve U.S. soldiers are facing charges after military officials say they killed civilians in Afghanistan for fun and collected their fingers as trophies.
The men were said to be part of a secret Afghan “kill team” that blew up and shot civilians at random and then collaborated on cover-up schemes to justify the deaths.
Military officials say five of the soldiers murdered three Afghan men for sport in separate attacks this year while seven others covered up the killings and assaulted a recruit who “snitched” and exposed the attacks.
Officials say Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs was moved to Afghanistan after serving time in Iraq and boasted about things he got away with including the murder of civilians.
Gibbs was the reported head of the “kill team” and assisted in the murder of an Afghan man that was hit with a grenade before being shot with a rifle.
Officials say at least one of the men collected fingers from the dead as trophies while several of them posed for pictures with the dead bodies.
A number of the soldiers are also charged with stealing and smoking the drug “hashish” from civilians.