Breaking News: U.S. Soldier In Afghanistan Opens Fire, Killing 16 Civilians Including Children

We can only imagine what drove this soldier to the edge. In the meantime, the American military is trying to head off trouble. They've issued a statement offering their regrets to the affected families, and the American embassy has also offered

[oldembed src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/WD7tMRK356Q" width="425" height="246" resize="1" fid="21"]

UPDATE: Now we're getting a very different and even more disturbing version from Reuters:

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, March 11 (Reuters) - Western forces shot dead 16 civilians including nine children in southern Kandahar province on Sunday, Afghan officials said, in a rampage that witnesses said was carried out by American soldiers who were laughing and appeared drunk.

One Afghan father who said his children were killed in the shooting spree accused soldiers of later burning the bodies.

[...] Neighbours said they awoke to crackling gunfire from American soldiers, whom they described as laughing and drunk.

"They were all drunk and shooting all over the place," said neighbour Agha Lala, who visited one of the homes where the incident took place. "Their bodies were riddled with bullets."

Shades of the Haditha massacre in Iraq, for which few participants were charged and no one went to jail.

***

We can only imagine what drove this soldier to the edge. In the meantime, the American military is trying to head off trouble. They've issued a statement offering their regrets to the affected families, and the American embassy has also offered its "deepest apologies":

PANJWAY, Afghanistan — A United States service member walked out of a military base in a rural district of southern Afghanistan on Sunday and opened fire on three nearby houses, killing at least 16 civilians, including several children, local villagers and provincial officials said.

The shooting risks further inciting anti-American sentiment in Afghanistan and troubling a relationship that had already been brought to a new low by the burning of Korans at an American military base last month. The American Embassy in Afghanistan quickly issued a statement on Sunday urging calm.

The NATO-led coalition said in a statement on Sunday that a United States service member had been detained after an incident in Kandahar Province, in the south of the country, and that a number of civilians had been killed.

Villagers in Belandi in the Panjway district of Kandahar, where the shooting took place, said the service member had attacked three houses, killing at least 16 in total. Five other villagers were wounded, they said.

After the killings, villagers collected the bodies, and drove them to a nearby American military base to protest. Burn marks could be seen on some of the bodies, and the villagers said that five of the dead were young girls, age 6 or younger.

About Susie Madrak

Comments

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.