US charges defense contractor with Afghan murder

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) -- A defense contractor who provided personal security to Afghan and Iraqi leaders has been charged with killing an Afghan civilian.

Documents filed in federal court in Virginia allege Don M. Ayala of New Orleans helped subdue and arrest civilian Abdul Salam after he tossed a container of flammable liquid at a fellow contractor.

Documents say that after learning the contractor had suffered serious burns, Ayala shot and killed Salam, who was handcuffed.

Ayala, who worked for contractor BAE Systems, is charged with murder in the Nov. 4 incident 50 miles west of Kandahar. A hearing in U.S. District Court in Alexandria has not been set.

Ayala's attorney in California was not immediately available for comment on Thursday.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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