A preliminary investigation into an incident more than a month ago involving a suicide bombing in Afghanistan has indicated that over 40 Afghans were killed or wounded by Marines in a retaliation counter-attack. The investigation claims that the American marines reacted to a bomb ambush with excessive force in eastern Afghanistan. The marines responded by opening fire on several targets, hitting groups of bystanders and vehicles with machine-gun fire in a series of attacks that covered more than 10 miles of highway. Senior Special Operations commanders said there is no evidence that the Marine Special Operations platoon came under small-arms fire after the bombing as according to reports from the marines. Statements from Marines reported the platoon began taking enemy fire and seeing people with weapons right after the bombing. The troops continued shooting at perceived threats as they traveled miles from the site of the March 4 attack according to some evidence. Other evidence supports the idea that civilians might have been killed in a small-arms attack that followed the suicide bombing. One Marine was injured by shrapnel in the suicide bombing, but immediate medical evacuation was not necessary. Of those killed, investigating officers reported that they were unable to find evidence linking the dead civilians to enemy warriors. A few of the dead included a 4-year-old girl, a 1-year-old boy and three elderly villagers. The marines could face criminal charges if they are convicted of the civilian casualties.
The two articles written by the Washington Post and New York Times, although containing reports from similar agencies such as the Special Operations Command Central and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, the writers of each used different sources within the organizations.
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