[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 21 April, 2005, 22:22 GMT 23:22 UK
US soldier guilty of camp murders
Sergeant Hasan Akbar
The defence said Akbar was mentally ill at the time of the attack
A US soldier has been convicted of the murder and attempted murder of colleagues during the opening days of the Iraq war.

Sgt Hasan Akbar carried out a grenade and rifle attack that killed two officers and wounded 14 other service personnel at a camp in Kuwait.

He now faces a possible death penalty after being convicted by a military jury at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

The jury will consider the sentence at a hearing beginning on Monday.

The verdict came after two-and-a-half hours of deliberations by the 15-member jury, following seven days of testimony in a court-martial.

It was the first time since the Vietnam War that an American had been prosecuted on charges of murdering a fellow soldier during wartime.

The Associated Press news agency reports that Akbar, 34, stood to attention as the verdict was read by the colonel who headed the jury panel, chewing his lip but giving no other outward sign of emotion.

'Maximum carnage'

The attack occurred in the middle of the night as the 101st Airborne was preparing to move into Iraq in support of the US-led invasion in March 2003.

Capt Christopher Seifert, 27, and Maj Gregory Stone, 40, were killed.

Prosecutors say Akbar told investigators he launched the attack because he was concerned that US troops would kill fellow Muslims in Iraq.

They said he carried out the attack "with a cool mind" to achieve "maximum carnage" on his comrades in the 101st Airborne Division.

The defence acknowledged that Akbar had carried out the attack, but said he was too mentally ill to have premeditated it, and was fuelled by emotion.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific