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U.S. Soldier Kills 16 Afghan Civilians Including 9 Children – U.S. Fears Reprisals
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On Sunday night, a U.S. soldier broke into civilian houses in a village in Panjwal district, 35 km from Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban. Eyewitnesses reported that a group of U.S. soldiers arrived at night and one U.S. soldier broke open and attacked three houses without provocation. The ‘rogue’ soldier killed 11 people in the first house and a total of 16 people including 9 children.

A weeping villager, whose children and grandchildren were among those slaughtered in sleep by the ‘brave’ U.S. soldier, informed Reuters that the Americans “poured chemicals over their dead bodies and burned them” to destroy evidence of the carnage. Villagers reported that they woke up in the night to the sound of gunfire and boisterous cheers and laughs from U.S. soldiers who were drunk.

Denying that there was a ‘group’ of soldiers involved, the U.S. Embassy, ISAF and Washington said there was only one soldier who “walked back to the base and turned himself in to U.S. forces this morning.” An ISAF spokesman said that there had been no military operations in the area to warrant such an incident. The soldier, who is now in custody, has been described as a staff sergeant who is married and has three children. The same sergeant had also served three tours in Iraq, but this was his first in Afghanistan.

  
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Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called Hamid Karzai and said, “I condemn such violence and am shocked and saddened that a U.S. service member is alleged to be involved, clearly acting outside his chain of command.”

Reuters reports witness accounts of several soldiers being present.

President Obama promised Afghanistan “to hold fully accountable anyone responsible.” He also issued a statement saying “This incident is tragic and shocking and does not represent the exceptional character of our military and the respect that the United States has for the people of Afghanistan.”

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Comments made on the internet by citizens question that “exceptional character” in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary including maniacal torture in Iraq prisons, photos of marines with Nazi insignia, and groups of soldiers in Afghanistan decked up in marijuana plants.

The bill for the protracted war is already more the $500 billion and scarcely one that the U.S. can continue to support without real justification. More than 1,900 U.S. troops have already died.



Joshua Foust, a security expert with the American Security Project commented, “These killings only serve to reinforce the mindset that the whole war is broken and that there’s little we can do about it beyond trying to cut our losses and leave.”

The Afghan head of state, Hamid Karzai, widely accused to be a U.S. sockpuppet condemned the carnage as “intentional murders.” Karzai issued an official statement quoting a villager saying “American soldiers woke my family up and shot them in the face.”

A senior U.S. defense official rejected such claims and said “Based on the preliminary information we have this account is flatly wrong … We believe one U.S. service member acted alone, not a group of U.S. soldiers.”

However, there was no confirmation from official sources as to the question whether a group of soldiers accompanied the shooter, even though only one did the killing.



 

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