File image. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Seattle - U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers in two forays from his remote military camp, has been referred to a court martial over the slayings and could face the death penalty, the military said on Wednesday.

The trial of the decorated soldier is scheduled to take place at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state, but no date has been set for the proceedings, military officials said in a statement. - Reuters