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Army Charges 8 Soldiers In Connection With Private's Death In Afghanistan

Charges including negligent homicide, involuntary manslaughter and dereliction of duty have been brought against eight American soldiers in connection with what was thought to be the Oct. 3 suicide of a fellow soldier, according to reports in The Washington Post, Stars and Stripes, and some other news outlets.

Word of the charges comes from the International Security Assistance Force's Regional Command South in Afghanistan, the news outlets report.

As Stars and Stripes writes:

"Pvt. Danny Chen, according to the release, was found in a guard tower with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. An Army official told Chen's family that he had been beaten by superior officers and subjected to racially motivated taunts before he died, according to an October story in The New York Times."

The Post says "it was not clear from the information provided [by Regional Command South] whether the military believes the soldiers actually killed Chen or whether officials are alleging that their mistreatment of Chen led him to take his own life. All of the soldiers belong to C Company of the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment."

Five of the eight soldiers "were charged with involuntary manslaughter, assault consummated by battery, negligent homicide and reckless endangerment," the Post says. The other three face charges including dereliction of duty, making a false statement and assault, the newspaper adds.

Chen was 19 years old.

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