Pentagon originally said Marine killed in combat
The Pentagon confirmed late Tuesday that it is investigating the death of a 24-year-old Indiana Marine after he was shot to death in Afghanistan, allegedly by several US-paid private security contractors.
The contractors, according to a fellow Marine in Afghanistan who communicated with an investigative reporter in Chicago, were Afghanis who were found with "copious amounts of opium" and had been paid by the United States as guards.
"He was killed by American Hired Local National Contractors that were high on opium the morning of the 19th," the ABC reporter quotes a friend and fellow colleague of Lance Corporal Joshua Birchfield as saying in an email message.
Lance Corporal Joshua Birchfield was killed after being shot in the head Feb. 19. The Department of Defense originally reported that he died of "small arms fire" while in combat.