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Polish Military Judge Orders 7 Soldiers Held in Afghan Deaths

A military court in Poland has ordered seven Polish soldiers held for three months while officials investigate charges of war crimes in the killing of Afghan civilians.

The soldiers were charged earlier this week with killing civilians while serving with a NATO-led mission in August in the eastern Afghan province of Paktika.

The seven are accused of firing mortar and machine guns into an Afghan village, despite evidence they faced no immediate threat. Six civilians were killed in the ensuing clashes.

Six of the soldiers are charged with murder and could face up to life in prison, if convicted. A seventh soldier faces lesser charges.

The Associated Press says the judge in the military court in Poznan ruled Thursday the soldiers should be held in custody to prevent them from interfering in the ongoing probe.

Poland currently has 1,200 troops serving in Afghanistan.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.