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U.S. Jury Convicts Two Of Manslaughter In Deadly Afghan Shooting

Two former contractors for the private U.S. security firm previously known as Blackwater Worldwide have been convicted in U.S. court of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting deaths of two Afghans in Kabul in 2009.

The two men, Justin Cannon and Christopher Drotleff, were acquitted March 11 of more serious murder and weapons charges by the federal court jury in Norfolk, Virginia.

The men now face a maximum sentence of eight years in prison when they are sentenced in June.

Defense lawyers for the two men had argued that their clients were defending themselves when the shooting occurred after a vehicle accident. Prosecutors said the two men had been drinking alcohol and had left their base without authorization before the incident, which also injured an Afghan civilian.

The Blackwater firm is now called Xe.

compiled from agency reports