FORT BRAGG, N.C. — Prosecutors accuse an Army officer of ordering his platoon to shoot any Afghan they saw on a motorcycle, resulting in two civilian deaths in southern Afghanistan last summer.
The Fayetteville Observer reports that prosecutors say 1st Lt. Clint Lorance of Oklahoma ordered his men to open fire immediately, violating rules of engagement.
Lorance is charged with murder, attempted murder, making false statements, ordering soldiers to wrongfully discharge their firearms and impeding the investigation. His court-martial opened Tuesday and is expected to last three days.
The 82nd Airborne Division lieutenant faces life in prison. Lorance’s lawyers say he was trying to protect his unit.
Prosecutors say three men on a motorcycle approached a joint patrol of Afghan Army and 82nd Airborne soldiers last July. Two were killed. The third ran away.