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U.S. soldier charged in contractor's slaying in Iraq

BAGHDAD — A U.S. soldier has been charged with murdering a foreign contractor at an American base in Taji, Iraq, the military said Sunday.

Pfc. Carl T. Stovall III, a 25-year-old soldier from Kennesaw, Ga., is accused of shooting the foreign laborer on March 26, the military said in a written statement. Military prosecutors handed down the murder charge Saturday.

Stovall's unit has been in Iraq less than a month, said a military spokesman, Master Sgt. Nicholas Conner. He declined to provide any more details about the shooting.

"It's an ongoing investigation, so there's just not a whole lot we can talk about," Conner said.

The laborer, who the military would not identify, worked for Toifor, a private international company that provides various support services on U.S. military bases in Iraq, including potable water distribution, trash removal and portable toilets for soldiers.

The military wouldn't give the victim's nationality, except to say he wasn't Iraqi or American. Toifor couldn't be reached Sunday.

The U.S. base where the shooting occurred is about 12 miles north of Baghdad and is home to several thousand soldiers.

Stovall is assigned to the Army's 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, which is part of the 1st Cavalry Division from Fort Hood, Texas. He was arrested the day of the shooting and remains in U.S. custody, Conner said, though he wouldn't disclose where Stovall is being held.

His case will be handled by U.S. officials, Conner added.

The military issued a statement about the shooting Sunday after a McClatchy reporter asked about the contractor's death.

Stovall's family couldn't be reached for comment.