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Human Rights Watch Demands Investigation Into Afghanistan Killings

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File photo of U.S. soldiers. (Photo by SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images)

The top U.S. military officer says the Pentagon has developed several options for the size of the post-2014 force in Afghanistan, ranging from zero to 10,000 troops. But he says that with every day that goes by some of the options become less likely. (Photo by SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBS DC) - Human Rights Watch is urging the U.S. to conduct an impartial investigation into the reported killings of 18 men in Afghanistan.

The group cites a story in Rolling Stone which implicates American personnel in killings from late 2012 to early 2013 in Nerkh district in Wardak province.

“The Nerkh incidents should be investigated rigorously, impartially, and transparently,” said Andrea Prawos, senior counterterrorism counsel and advocate at Human Rights Watch.

“While it is clear that crimes occurred, U.S. authorities need to establish what exactly happened and who is responsible.”

The allegations surfaced after the body of a local man was found with his throat slit.

Residents said U.S. Special Forces had earlier arrested the man.

A shepherd located more human remains near the team’s former base perimeter, prompting villagers to dig in the area.

Afghan government documents identified 18 men who it says may have been killed in operations linked to the American troops.

Human Rights Watch says the United States has a poor history of investigating allegations of its own human rights abuses and says anyone found guilty in this case should face criminal prosecution.

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