Pair face trial in US over deaths of Afghans

The trial of two former US defence contractors charged with the deaths of two Afghan nationals was getting under way today.

Justin Cannon and Christopher Drotleff, former contractors for Blackwater Worldwide, are accused in the shooting deaths of two Afghan nationals in Kabul in May 2009.

Drotleff and Cannon have said they opened fire on a vehicle when it sped towards them.

The defendants were in the country to train the Afghan National Army.

Drotleff and Cannon face up to life in prison if convicted.

North Carolina-based Blackwater is now known as Xe Services.

They pair were going on trial today in the US District Court in Norfolk, Virginia, and the case is expected to last up to three weeks.

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