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CNN Today

U.S. Army Officer Accused of Killing 11-Year-Old Albanian Girl in Kosovo

Aired January 17, 2000 - 4:06 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: The United States Army is preparing to investigate the case of a U.S. soldier assigned to the international peacekeeping force in Kosovo, that soldier is under lock and key in Germany now after being accused of killing an 11-year-old ethnic Albanian girl.

CNN's Mike Hanna has our report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MIKE HANNA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on phone): A father mourns his dead daughter. The body of the 11-year-old ethnic Albanian girl was found near the Kosovo town of Vitina Thursday. "They killed her 20 meters from our house," says Hani Shebil (ph). "They took the body. She was just 11 1/2 years old." And the man charged with the killing is a member of the international peacekeeping force in Kosovo charged with protecting the region's residents.

MAJ. DEBBIE ALLEN, U.S. ARMY: American soldier, Staff Sergeant Frank J. Rumgee (ph) was formally charged today with the murder and indecent acts with a child.

HANNA: The accused U.S. soldier deployed from Ft. Bragg in North Carolina has been transferred out of the region and is now being held at the Mannheim confinement facility in Germany pending investigation by a U.S. military magistrate.

ALLEN: And at the conclusion of the investigation, the investigating officer will recommend to the convening authority whether the charges should be referred to a court-martial.

HANNA: The senior U.S. military official in Kosovo has sent a personal letter of condolence to the family in which he pledges that the Army will spare no efforts in bringing the matter to justice.

Mike Hanna, CNN, Frankfurt, Germany.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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