COPY-Soldiers from Alabama-based unit accused of abuse in Afghanistan

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. Two Alabama-based soldiers accused of punching detainees in Afghanistan are members of an Army Reserve unit that is working on construction projects.

Both soldiers are assigned to Huntsville-based C Company of the 926th Engineer Battalion. The unit is headquartered in Montgomery.Major William Ritter, a spokesman with the 81st Regional Readiness Command in Birmingham, said the military has not released the soldiers' names, and he is uncertain if there homes are in Alabama.The alleged assault on detainees occurred at a base in southern Uruzgan province in early July.Charges include conspiracy to maltreat, assault and dereliction of duty. The military said neither detainee required medical attention.Ritter said C Company, with about 140 members, arrived in Afghanistan in February and has been constructing and repairing roads and buildings. It is unclear why members of an engineering unit were in contact with detainees.The Alabama reservists will return statewide in January.One of the two detainees has since been released, while the other is being held.

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