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US military affirms death sentence for soldier

Written by: Staff
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MIAMI, Nov 21 (Reuters) The commander of Fort Bragg US Army base, Lt Gen John Vines, has affirmed a death sentence against a US soldier convicted of killing two officers in a grenade and rifle attack in Kuwait as the Iraq war began in 2003.

The death sentence handed down in April 2005 against Sgt Hasan Akbar now goes to the Army Court of Criminal Appeals under an automatic appeals process, said the public affairs office of the XVIII Airborne Corps, based in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Akbar, a former member of the 101st Airborne Division, was found guilty on two counts of premeditated murder and three counts of attempted premeditated murder for a nighttime attack at Camp Pennsylvania in Kuwait on March 23, 2003, as 101st Airborne soldiers awaited orders to move in the early days of the US-led invasion of Iraq.

Akbar was accused of rolling grenades into soldiers' tents and firing a rifle at those who emerged.

Capt Christopher Seifert and Maj Gregory Stone were killed and 14 people were wounded.

Akbar's mother and military lawyers said Akbar snapped in the face of relentless ridicule of his Muslim faith and harassment by fellow soldiers, according to media reports.

REUTERS DKS PM0442

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