US soldier kills 16 Afghan civilians

11 March 2012 12:20 pm - 29     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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A US soldier in Afghanistan has killed at least 16 civilians and wounded five after entering their homes in Kandahar province, senior local officials say.

He left his military base in the early hours of the morning and opened fire in at least two homes; women and children were among the dead.

Nato said it was investigating the "deeply regrettable incident".

Anti-US sentiment is already high in Afghanistan after US soldiers burnt copies of the Koran last month.

US officials have apologised repeatedly for the incident at a Nato base in Kabul, but they failed to quell a series of protests and attacks that killed at least 30 people and six US troops.

Local people have reportedly gathered near the base in Panjwai district to protest about Sunday's killings, and the US embassy is advising against travel to the area.

Lt Gen Adrian Bradshaw, deputy commander of Nato-led forces, said he was unable to "explain the motivation behind such callous acts", adding that "our thoughts and prayers are with those caught in this tragedy".

Investigation
 
The soldier has not been named, but is thought to be a staff sergeant.

He is reported to have walked off his base at around 03:00 local time (22:30 GMT Saturday), heavily armed, and headed to nearby villages.

"Eleven members of my family are dead. They are all dead," Haji Samad, an elder from Najeeban village, told the AFP news agency.

Haji Sayed Jan, from Alkozai village, was quoted by the AFP as saying: "My home was attacked and I lost four family members".

A delegation from the provincial governor's office has arrived in the village to determine exactly what happened, a spokesman said.

The soldier - who had reportedly suffered a breakdown before the attacks - handed himself over to the US military authorities after carrying out the killings.

The Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) said in a statement that US officials in Afghanistan would work with their Afghan counterparts to investigate what happened.

"This is a deeply regrettable incident and we extend our thoughts and concerns to the families involved," Isaf added.

Meanwhile, in Kabul, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said his government still expects to sign a strategic partnership with the United States in the next couple of months.

In a televised speech, he said discussions would continue on the precise role the US will play in Afghanistan after Nato hands over security responsibility to Kabul at the end of 2014.

On Friday, Kabul and Washington reached a deal to transfer US-run prisons in the country to Afghan control. (bbc.co.uk)



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  Comments - 29

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  • leaon Monday, 12 March 2012 07:50 AM

    No wonder a rational man...hates usa....

    Rohan Monday, 12 March 2012 12:48 PM

    Where is war crimes? What will Pillay do now? Has Pillay started on Human Rights issues against US and the war and killings in Afhanistan. Did she talk about Lesson Learnt Commission?
    Looks like she is sleeping and pretending not to know. How good is that Pillay? Speak up in Geneva that you are following up issues in Iraq and Afghanistan before your retirement.

    Bailly Monday, 12 March 2012 12:51 PM

    Well Robin haven't you noticed that the whole government of Sri Lanka is taken to task for deaths during the tamil tiger terrorist war. So it is right the blame is taken by US Govt. There is no hiding for US when they have done crimes going to war in Iraq, Vietnam, Afghanistan etc. etc. Lets see what Obama will come up with. I am sure he will have a good excuse.

    Fanam Monday, 12 March 2012 08:17 AM

    This US soldier will not be punished. This will be the proceedings :
    1. He will be taken for inquiries
    2. Will be declared as mentally disturbed and he did not carry this on clear mental status
    3. Will be taken to USA
    4. Some messages will be passed to the US media and it will be a hot news for 2 to 3 days
    5. He will lead a normal life in USA
    6. Some Afghans will die in protest increasing the number from 11 to 20 may be
    Karzai also will do nothing other than some condemnation if the protests increases since he needs US money for his pocket.

    anura Monday, 12 March 2012 08:18 AM

    UNHRC what is your resolve in this case???

    gamini Monday, 12 March 2012 08:09 AM

    pillay are u sleeping???

    Anonymous Monday, 12 March 2012 03:24 AM

    To do what and on what grounds? Which part of 'Soverign Nation' don't you understand? I have nothing against USA but I do take offense when my country and my people are targetted. Get your green card and get out!

    sajitha Monday, 12 March 2012 08:38 AM

    So sri lanka also will investigate the "regretable incidents" at latter part of the war. So why any investigations?

    Tintin Monday, 12 March 2012 03:52 AM

    USA had already accepted accountability and vowed to bring the perpetrator to justice. We are missing a point here. Sri Lanka is of the stand that there were absolutely no war crimes in our land. And evade total accountability. There is a difference.

    robin Monday, 12 March 2012 08:56 AM

    I have gone through all the comments non of the comments are related to the said subject .my view is relation with this story a soldier has gone and killed the civilians in afganistan.this has been done by an individual not by the entire us army in this case the mental situation of this person has to be examined and punish this person only not the entire us army.as previous comments if srilankan government take this matter to unhcr genoside we be a laughfing stock.

    AL Monday, 12 March 2012 03:41 AM

    I hope our politicians bring thing up in UNHCR

    Esala Monday, 12 March 2012 03:47 AM

    You are dreeming.

    patriot Monday, 12 March 2012 04:04 AM

    Poor fellow.Cant you guys see that it was an accident. The guy has accidentally dropped the gun and it fired killing 16 civilians. If he killed only one guy ,you can say.. he KILLED...

    Ranil Monday, 12 March 2012 03:59 AM

    At least they accepted responsibility for it and prosecuted the culprit. Didnt shoot the messenger or deny things that everyone knew, call it an anti-US conspiracy or blame others. But at the end of the day those poor victims' families arent going to be compensated in any way.

    Alex Monday, 12 March 2012 05:01 AM

    Feel really sorry for the people died, a good chance for sri lankan politicians to scold the sudda's in singhalese

    Luck Sunday, 11 March 2012 02:44 PM

    United States of America is the biggest zombie in the world!!! Few days time this news will vanish from the attention. But if similar kind of thing occurred in our country?????

    weha Sunday, 11 March 2012 03:40 PM

    Here we go again !!!

    kondebendapucheena Monday, 12 March 2012 05:01 AM

    among 17 dead 9 of them small Children,No mercy for this guy with Vengeance he has gone on rampage

    PeaceLover Sunday, 11 March 2012 03:44 PM

    If this is done by an Afghan it would be described as a "Terrorist Act"!! BUT now this is just a "regrettable incident"?

    Mifaz Sunday, 11 March 2012 03:59 PM

    It will be a funny story for our readers..

    dalu banda Sunday, 11 March 2012 04:23 PM

    So this is not a war crime? whwre is Navi Pillay, UN Human Right Chief?

    Damsen Sunday, 11 March 2012 04:20 PM

    Since the killing was done by a US soldier ,It does not amount to a crime.Just a apology is enough

    Sinha Sunday, 11 March 2012 04:26 PM

    Who says USA is a pure civilized nation? But LTTE diaspora will continue to be American slaves! TGTE must press for war crimes against USA!

    Bitter Truth Monday, 12 March 2012 05:39 AM

    Who cares!!! It is just some Afghans.... who are described as Talibanese backward (As described by west) ideology is inculcated in them. Now it is described as civilians, if it was done by a group of soldiers, then they become Taliban fighters. All these will vanish in thin air with KSM (9/11) case is on!!! to bail out Obama.
    Who are the fools? General public or politians?

    deepthi ck Sunday, 11 March 2012 05:34 PM

    OK, now where is the British channel 4 ? why not have another documentry video about this incident. since the UN session is on.

    ravi Sunday, 11 March 2012 05:42 PM

    USA will be in sri lanka very soon then you all can talk..

    Lakal Perera Monday, 12 March 2012 05:55 AM

    I think its the time the whole world should stand against theis evil country.
    US................, u are maikg anemies world wide & one day you will suffer for these mistakes you are doing & that day is not far away...
    And you might need a replacemet to the golden eagle of yours...( An ugly crow!!!)

    Rakitha Monday, 12 March 2012 06:11 AM

    Who is accountable for this raw Human right violation????????????????????????????? Just saying sorry for the Afghan people and leadership is not enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This what we call double slandered by the so called champions of human rights...

    Gayan Monday, 12 March 2012 06:38 PM

    USA says the soldier's human rights were breached by the Afgan cililians by not dying quickly enough


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