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Probe into possible Haditha cover up complete

Written by: Staff
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BAGHDAD, June 16 (Reuters) The US military said on Friday a probe of allegations that US Marines killed up to 24 unarmed civilians in the town of Haditha last year has been completed and a top commander is reviewing it.

Lieutenant-General Peter Chiarelli, commander of US ground forces in Iraq, received the findings of the investigation and would either approve the findings, add his own conclusions or request more information from the investigating officer.

A separate investigation being conducted by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service could lead to charges including murder.

Major-General Eldon Bargewell led the fact-finding mission looking at not only whether Marines involved in the November. 19 incident lied about what happened, but whether senior Marine Corps officers sufficiently examined the veracity of the troops' account.

Defense officials previously have said a preliminary military probe conducted in February and March found evidence that the Marines involved in the incident gave a false account of what happened.

REUTERS MP PM2329

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