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Marine inquiry into Afghan shooting wrapping up

CAMP LEJEUNE (AP) -- A special military panel investigating a shooting in Afghanistan that left as many as 19 civilians dead has begun its third week of testimony. Military officials initially thought the Court of Inquiry would take only two weeks. But after 22 witnesses, some with conflicting testimony, officials said the proceeding could take another week. The court is a rarely used administrative hearing being held at Camp Lejeune to investigate the March 4 incident. The Marines have said they were targeted by small arms fire after a car bombing and the explosion triggered a well-planned ambush on their convoy. But an Afghan human rights organization said the Marines shot indiscriminately at pedestrians and motorists. The court will recommend whether charges be brought against a platoon leader and company commander. (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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