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U.S. Soldier Charged With Murder Of Officers In Iraq

17 June 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The U.S. military says a U.S. soldier has been charged with premeditated murder in the deaths of two U.S. army officers in Iraq this month.

A military statement released late Thursday says Staff Sergeant Alberto Martinez, age 37, has been charged with the murder of Captain Phillip Esposito and Lieutenant Louis Allen, both with the headquarters of the New York Army National Guard.

The statement says the officers were killed by a blast in Tikrit on 7 June. It says an initial investigation indicated the officers were killed by a mortar round but further examination shows the blast was "inconsistent with a mortar attack."

It gave no further details.