A US soldier pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years in prison Friday for killing a severely wounded Iraqi teenager in what investigators say may have been a mercy killing, the latest of several similar incidents that have undercut American efforts to win support among Iraqis and defeat a rampant insurgency. \nThe conviction and sentencing of Staff Sergeant Johnny Horne, 30, comes almost a month after the Nov. 13 killing of another wounded Iraqi found lying in a Fallujah mosque among the bodies of several people killed during a weeklong operation to retake that city from insurgents. \nHorne was sentenced to three years in prison late Friday by a jury-like panel of seven service members, the military said Saturday. He also received a reduction in rank to private, forfeiture of wages and a dishonorable discharge. \nHorne is the first of four soldiers from Company C, 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, to face court-martial on charges of murdering Iraqis during fighting in Baghdad's impoverished Sadr City in August. \nThis week in Germany, a US tank company commander was ordered court-martialed after being accused of shooting and killing a critically injured Iraqi driver for radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on May 21 near Kufa, 160km south of Baghdad. \nAs in Horne's case, witnesses have said Captain Rogelio Maynulet, 29, shot the wounded man out of compassion. Maynulet will be tried on charges of assault with intent to commit murder and dereliction of duty, which carry a maximum combined sentence of 20 years. \nThe US military has defended its record, saying out of the more than 400,000 soldiers who have deployed to Iraq since the war began, only a few illegal killings have come to light. \nLieutenant Colonel Steve Boylan, a spokesman with the military command in Baghdad, said soldiers understand the rules of engagement and go through extensive training. \n"The US military is a cross-section of the US society, where we have the complete spectrum of best possible people that you could imagine, but unfortunately we have those at the other end who commit crimes and they are held accountable," he said. \nElsewhere, the military on Saturday said insurgents used the hospital in the volatile city of Ramadi to ambush US soldiers on Friday, firing rocket propelled grenades and small arms fire but inflicting no American casualties. \nAlso, Iraqi police detained 30 people after a police station in Baquba, north of Baghdad, was attacked, the US military said Saturday. \nThe military tribunal heard witness testimony that troops fired on a group of Iraqi men placing homemade bombs along a road in Sadr City. Other soldiers arrived to find a burning truck and casualties around it. \nWitnesses said the soldiers, including Horne, tried to rescue the teenager from inside the vehicle, but decided he was beyond help because of severe burns and abdominal wounds. A criminal investigator said the soldiers decided "the best course of action was to put [the victim] out of his misery." \nMeanwhile, the US command said two soldiers died Thursday and four were injured when an AH-64 Apache helicopter crashed into a UH-60 Black Hawk chopper that was on the ground at an airfield in the northern city of Mosul. A US Marine was also killed in action in volatile Anbar province west of Baghdad.
FRENCH AID: Paris has sent a navy ship and aircraft from Reunion Island with some pollution control equipment, but rough seas are spreading the oil spill The operator of a Japanese bulk carrier which ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean yesterday apologized for a major oil spill, which officials and environmentalists say is creating an ecological disaster, as police prepared to board the ship. The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25. “We apologize profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,” Mitsui OSK Lines executive vice president Akihiko Ono said at a news conference in Tokyo. The company would “do everything in their power to resolve the issue,” he said. At least 1,000 tonnes of
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
LIFELONG LOSS: Jiro Hamasumi, who was not quite born when an atomic bomb hit Hiroshima, lost his father and other relatives, but said he thinks about his father daily As Japan marks 75 years since the devastating attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the last generation of nuclear bomb survivors is working to ensure their message lives on after them. The “hibakusha” — literally “person affected by the bomb” — have for decades been a powerful voice calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. There are an estimated 136,700 left, many of whom were infants or soon to be born at the time of the attacks. The average age of a survivor now is a little over 83, according to the Japanese Ministry of Health, lending an urgency as they share their testimonies