A member of the Afghan National Army (ANA) is waiting to be hanged after being convicted by an Afghan court of killing a U.S. Marine in 2012, in what is commonly known as a green-on-blue attack, Marine Corps Times reported.
U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Edward “Eddie” Dycus, from Greenville, Mississippi, was only 22 when he was shot by the Afghan soldier on Jan. 31, 2012 in Helmand province. The Marine died the next day.
Helmand is one of the deadliest regions for American forces in Afghanistan.
According to documents, obtained by Marine Corps Times through a Freedom of Information Act request, the Afghan soldier “took a rifle” from a fellow ANA member and proceeded to shoot Lance Cpl. Dycus in the head.
Marines arrested the Afghan soldier, known as Naqibullah, as he tried to run away from the scene.
As the seventh death from green-on-blue attacks perpetrated by Afghan forces against their U.S. counterparts over a six-week period in 2012, Dycus’ death was part of “an alarming trend that the Pentagon may have tried to downplay by simply stating in public releases that Dycus was killed in combat operations,” the Times article stated.
The Pentagon did not make the circumstances surrounding his death public until more than a month later.
Although the ANA soldier claimed that drugs induced him to commit the murder, there was very little evidence to support his claims. An official drug test came back negative.
Initially, Naqibullah was convicted of murder and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
However, that ruling was appealed by both the defense and prosecution. The prosecution argued that Naqibullah deserved a harsher sentence because he was a public servant when he killed the U.S. Marine.
In November 2012, the ANA service member was sentenced to death by hanging. “The subject in question was convicted of murder and is in the National Prison at Pol-e-charki in Kabul, where is his [sic] awaiting execution, though no timeline has yet been set on when the sentence will be carried out,” Lt. Col. Cliff Gilmore, a Marine spokesman in Afghanistan told Marine Corps Times.
Green-on-blue attacks hit a high in 2012. That year, there were 38 incidents resulting in the deaths of 53 coalition troops, the Times noted. The insider attacks dropped in 2013, during which 16 U.S./NATO troops were killed in 10 attacks.