US soldier charged in killing of Albanian boy (6)

WASHINGTON, Aug 26, 2000 -- (AFP) A U.S. Army soldier has been charged with negligent homicide and dereliction of duty in the killing of a six-year-old Kosovo Albanian boy, who was shot in a schoolyard in July when the soldier's automatic weapon discharged, the army said Friday.

Private First Class Nicholas Young, who is assigned to the 1st Armored Division's 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery, faces a maximum of three years and six months confinement if found guilty of the charges, the army's European command said in a statement.

The shooting occurred July 10 in the Kosovo village of Cerkez Sadovina as U.S. peacekeepers were preparing the grounds of the Gornja Slatina school for the upcoming school year, it said.

Young's M240 squad automatic weapon discharged, striking the child in the upper chest and left arm, the army said.

The boy was given first aid and evacuated to the medical facilities at the army's Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo where he died of his injuries, the army said.

The army said the details from an investigation into the incident would be withheld until after legal proceedings against Young are completed.

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