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Army boss "sickened" by Afghanistan war crimes report

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Australia’s Chief of Army was left “sickened” by a report into alleged war crimes committed by special forces soldiers in Afghanistan.

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The landmark investigation uncovered credible evidence 39 Afghan civilians and prisoners were unlawfully killed by Australian troops and two others were subjected to cruelty.

Paul Brereton, who led the four-year inquiry, found young soldiers were forced to kill Afghan soldiers in a practice known as “blooding” to achieve their first kill.

“I was shocked by the extent of the alleged unlawful acts that were described in the report,” Lieutenant General Rick Burr told Nine’s 60 Minutes program on Sunday night.

“That is absolutely not what I expect of anyone in our army, anywhere in our army at any time, and why I’m so determined to lead our army through this into a better place.”

A SAS squadron embroiled in the allegations is being disbanded and thousands of soldiers, while 19 current and former soldiers face possible criminal prosecution.

Thousands of soldiers could also be stripped of their service medals.

-AAP

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