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Marines open testimony for inquiry into Afghanistan shooting

CAMP LEJEUNE (AP) -- The Marine Corps is set to open testimony in a legal tribunal called to investigate allegations that a special forces unit killed as many as 19 Afghan civilians. Testimony scheduled to begin Tuesday at Camp Lejeune will focus on the actions of two officers: The unit commander, Major Fred Galvin, and the platoon leader, Captain Vincent Noble. The Marine special operations company opened fire March 4 after an explosives-rigged minivan crashed into their convoy. A report issued by Afghanistan's Independent Human Rights Commission said witnesses reported that the Marines fired indiscriminately at civilians. A defense attorney said evidence would show the patrol followed regulations. Neither of the officers have been charged with a crime. The court of inquiry panel will recommend at the end of the hearings whether anyone should face charges. (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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