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Published: Thursday, 4/21/2005

<font face='verdana' size='1' color =#CC0000><b> * New * </b></font> Soldier convicted of premeditated murder in grenade attack


FORT BRAGG, N.C. An Army sergeant was convicted today by a military jury of premeditated murder and attempted murder in a grenade and rifle attack that killed two of his comrades and wounded 14 others in Kuwait during the opening days of the Iraq war.

Hasan Akbar, 33, now faces a possible death penalty, which the 15-member jury will consider at a hearing that begins Monday.

Prosecutors say Hasan Akbar, 33, told investigators he launched the attack because he was concerned U.S. troops would kill fellow Muslims in Iraq. They said he coolly carried out the attack to achieve maximum carnage.

The verdict came after 2 hours of deliberations following seven days of testimony in a court-martial the first time since the Vietnam era that an American has been prosecuted on charges of murdering a fellow soldier during wartime.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com.

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