Soldier faces trial over shooting of Iraq boy

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A British soldier will stand trial over the shooting of a young boy in Iraq, it was revealed today.

Private Alexander Johnston, of the 1st Battalion of the King's Own Scottish Borderers, has been charged with unlawful wounding.

Pte Johnston was on guard duty in al–Uzayr, south of Amarah, when the 13–year–old was shot last September.

The boy survived but the Ministry of Defence refused to give details of his condition, citing patient confidentiality.

Pte Johnston could face an alternative charge of "negligent handling of a weapon", the Attorney General's office said.

He is the fifth British soldier to be charged over events in Iraq.

Four Royal Fusiliers already face court martial over allegations that they abused Iraqis.

No date has yet been set for Pte Johnston's trial or preliminary hearing.

The venue for the trial is also undecided but a spokeswoman for Attorney General Lord Goldsmith said: "The general approach is these things should be held in Iraq."

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