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Seth Wenig, Associated Press
Elizabeth OuYang, president of the New York chapter of the Organization of Chinese Americans, center, speaks at a news conference while the parents of Pvt. Danny Chen, Yan Tao Chen, left, and Su Zhen Chen listen in New York, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011. Eight U.S. soldiers have been charged over the October death of Chen who apparently shot himself in Afghanistan, the Army said Wednesday, and supporters said the 19-year-old had been taunted with racial insults.

NEW YORK — The Pentagon says it has transferred eight soldiers to another base in Afghanistan amid allegations that they mistreated one of their comrades shortly before he committed suicide.

The soldiers face charges ranging from maltreatment to involuntary manslaughter in the death of 19-year-old Army Pvt. Daniel Chen of New York City. Chen's relatives say he endured weeks of racial teasing and hazing.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby says the military is taking a zero-tolerance attitude toward soldiers who mistreat their comrades.

The eight soldiers are part of an infantry regiment based in Fort Wainright, Alaska. The soldiers are still in Afghanistan but have been relieved of their duties and confined to a different base. The next step is a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence for a court martial.