US soldier admits to sport killing

A US military court has spared an American soldier from an early discharge from the US Army after he admitted to shooting unarmed Afghan civilians for fun.

Staff Sergeant Robert Stevens, 25, an Army medic from the State of Oregon, was only sentenced to nine months in prison on Wednesday for killing Afghan civilians, after pleading guilty.

He confessed to opening fire on two Afghan farmers in March 2010 for no apparent reason. He and other US troops were acting on orders from a squad leader during a patrol in March, Reuters reported.

The case began as an investigation into hashish use among US soldiers who were part of an infantry unit then known as the 5th Stryker Brigade. But the investigation has grown into the most serious prosecution of alleged atrocities by US military personnel in nearly nine years of conflict in war-torn Afghanistan.

Four more US soldiers are implicated in the case. The soldiers have been charged with other crimes, including mutilating bodies and keeping body parts as trophies.

Stevens has agreed to testify against the other members of the group.

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