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Last Updated: Sunday, 5 March 2006, 02:07 GMT
US army to probe NFL star's death
Pat Tillman
Tillman joined up after the 11 September 2001 terror attacks
The US army is to launch a criminal investigation into the death of a former American football star who was killed in Afghanistan.

Pat Tillman gave up his professional contract to join the army after the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US.

It took some time for the US military to admit he had been killed by US fire, drawing criticism from his family.

The US military has always said his shooting was accidental, but conceded that a criminal inquiry was warranted.

"We are obligated to answer the family's questions, as we are with all grieving families," Colonel Joseph Curtin, an Army spokesman said.

He said the scope of the investigation had still to be determined.

'Cover-up'

An unnamed army official quoted by Reuters said the inquiry would seek to determine whether one of the troops involved in the shooting committed negligent homicide or another crime.

He said "no one soldier" was the subject of the investigation.

Tillman was 27 when he was hit by gunfire on 22 April, 2004 on a road near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. At the time the army blamed enemy fire.

The truth did not come out until after his funeral.

His family claims the story was manipulated by the Pentagon to turn Tillman into a hero of the war on terror.

The footballer had been hailed as a role model when he walked away from his multi-million dollar Cardinals contract to serve his country.

His father, Pat Tillman Sr, has called the army inquiries so far "shams" and alleges a cover-up.

The army has admitted that some evidence - including Tillman's uniform and armour - was destroyed.


SEE ALSO:
US army 'let down dead NFL star'
24 May 05 |  Americas
Army 'hid truth of Tillman death'
05 May 05 |  Americas


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