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The Marine Corps will convene a Court of Inquiry next week at Camp Lejeune, N.C., to look into whether special-operations Marines overreacted to a March 4 ambush in Afghanistan.

The incident began when a suicide bomber in a minivan attacked a Marine convoy. Witnesses claim the Marines responded by firing at any perceived threat for miles up the road.

Afterwards, the entire 120-man company was expelled from Afghanistan, and an Army colonel later issued a formal apology and financial reimbursement to the families of the 19 Afghan civilians killed and 50 wounded after the ambush.

The head of Marine Special Operations Command told reporters in November that the special-operations Marines “reacted appropriately to the initial ambush,” but he would not comment on the Marines’ conduct as they returned to base.

The Court of Inquiry will begin Tuesday and is expected to last for two weeks, a Marine Corps news release said. Proceedings will focus on Maj. Fred C. Galvin and Capt. Vincent J. Noble, who were the company and platoon commanders respectively at the time of the incident.

The proceeding is an “administrative fact finding process” and not a criminal hearing, the release said.

No Marines have been charged in the incident.


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