Australia on Friday told 13 special forces soldiers that they face dismissal following a report on alleged unlawful killings in Afghanistan.

Lieutenant General Rick Burr, the head of the Australian army, said that the soldiers have been issued with “administrative action notices,” which would terminate their service in two weeks.

Last week, Australia’s defence force announced allegations that its elite forces carried out 39 unlawful killings in Afghanistan. It cited the findings of a 2016 inquiry into the conduct of its special forces personnel between 2005 and 2016 amid allegations by local media about the killing of unarmed men and children.

The report found there had been a “warrior culture” among some members of Australia’s special forces in Afghanistan. The report further specified that some patrol commanders, who were treated as “demigods”, required junior soldiers to shoot prisoners to achieve their first kill.

It recommended 19 individuals be referred to Australian Federal Police, compensation be paid to the families of victims, and that the military carry out a slew of reforms.

“We are all committed to learning from the inquiry and emerging from this a stronger, more capable and effective army. Each matter and individual circumstance will be considered on a case-by-case basis”, Burr said.

Australia’s military apologised to Afghanistan last week after the release of the report.


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