Payments Made To 17 Afghans For Deaths

A military official has testified that payments were made to Afghan civilians if they were injured or had relatives killed by a Marine special operations unit as they reacted to a March car bombing.

Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Gordon Phillips says he organized two ceremonies where money was given to people on a list approved by the provincial governor.

Phillips testified yesterday at Camp Lejeune before a panel investigating the shooting, which followed a suicide car bombing.

Phillips says since the payments, there have been no bombings in the area.

He told the panel the payments weren't an admission of guilt but rather a gesture to soothe feelings.

Members of the new Marine special operations unit say they were
ambushed after the bombing.