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U.S. Soldier Gets Life In Prison Over Iraq Killings


Wilburn Russell, 73, displays a portrait of his son, John M. Russell, the Army sergeant who was convicted of killing five fellow soldiers.

Wilburn Russell, 73, displays a portrait of his son, John M. Russell, the Army sergeant who was convicted of killing five fellow soldiers.

An American soldier convicted of killing five of his colleagues in Iraq in May 2009 has been sentenced to life in prison.

A military court in the northwestern state of Washington handed down the sentence to Army Sergeant John Russell on May 16 for murdering three soldiers and two medical officers at a clinic for soldiers suffering from war-related stress at Camp Liberty, the largest U.S. base in Iraq.

At the time of the Camp Liberty killings, Russell was on his third tour of duty in Iraq and his unit was preparing to leave the country.

The shooting was one of the worst instances of soldier-on-soldier violence in the Iraq War and raised questions about the mental-health problems for soldiers caused by repeated tours of duty.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP
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