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US soldier opens fire on Afghan civilians killing 17

 
 
 
 
 
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A US soldier has killed at least 17 civilians after opening fire on them near a US military base in Kandahar. There are nine children among the victims, Afghan authorities say.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai qualified the incident as an “assassination” and demanded an explanation from Washington, reports the Associated Press.

“This is an assassination, an intentional killing of innocent civilians and cannot be forgiven,” Karzai said in a statement.

US defense secretary Leon Panetta has condemned the Afghanistan shooting and offered his condolences to President Karzai.

The White House has also issued a statement expressing its concern over the incident.

“We are deeply concerned by the initial reports of this incident and are monitoring the situation closely,” said White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden.

An official from the Panjwai district of Kandahar told The New York Times that the US soldier broke into three houses near the military base, killing 11 in the first and four in the second. He wounded a further five.

According to one of the villagers the soldier acted alone and there was no fighting, adding that one of the houses raided belonged to a tribal elder.

The serviceman allegedly handed himself in to US authorities following the incident. The motive behind the attack remains unclear.

NATO forces spokesman Capt. Justin Brockhoff has confirmed that a US serviceman has been detained and is currently being held at a military base pending a joint US-Afghan investigation into the “deeply regrettable incident.”
The suspect has been identified as an Army staff sergeant from Fort Lewis, Washington, the Associated Press reports, citing US officials.

Brockhoff said those wounded in the incident were receiving treatment at a NATO medical facility.

Friction has been building between the allied forces and Afghan government after US soldiers burned copies of the Koran triggering uproar throughout the country last month.

The ensuing protests killed 30 people, including six American soldiers.

US President Obama made a formal apology to the people of Afghanistan for what NATO dubbed a “tragic blunder.”

NATO Secretary General Anders Gogh Rasmussen has extended his “heartfelt condolences” to the families of the victims and the Afghan people and government.

“I want to express my shock and sadness at the tragic shooting incident in Kandahar province, where it is reported that several people, including women and children, have been killed or wounded,” he said in a statement on Sunday.

The US embassy in Kabul warns of anti-American reprisals. After Americans burnt Muslim holy books on a base in Afghanistan in February, some 30 people, including six US service members, died in violence that has only just begun to calm down.

NATO pulled out all of its advisors from Afghan government organizations after two US officers were shot dead by an Afghan colleague.

Violence between the two allied forces has been on the up recently with 18 per cent of the 60 NATO personnel deaths this year thought to be the work of Afghan compatriots.

Lindsey German from the Stop the War Coalition told RT the incident will certainly affect the US position in Afghanistan.

“The Americans will try to say well this is just an isolated incident but we have to remember there are 100,000 occupying troops there. There have been many demonstrations over the burning of the Koran and it is not just about offence of Islam it is also about the occupation itself,” she explained.

German also said that every night in Afghanistan up to 40 houses are looking for alleged terrorists.

“If this soldier is one of the many who have been involved in the raids, then it does raise many questions as to exactly how the Americans are treating the occupied population.”

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  • Geneva

    To solve the problem bring the troops home instead of moving them around like what they did with the soldiers in Iraq.

    Regarding this incident, the MEDIA use this as propagand. They makes a big dealt and blows it out of proportion, instead of blaming the soldiers they should follow the rule:

    “When a soldier fails, the commander-in-chief takes responsibility and should be fired.” And where is Ron Paul when something needs to be done?

    Last month, France said that its embassy in Kabul was temporarily withdrawing all French civilian mentors and advisors from Afghan government institutions. As France did in LIBYA, and Sarkozy led military action against Libya right after.

    We saw Germany withdrew staff after several of the U.S. members of NATO forces in Kabul were shot dead at the Afghan interior ministry.

    NATO, which has a 130,000-strong U.S.-led force fighting an insurgency in Afghanistan, has advisors throughout the Afghan government but commanding officer General John Allen ordered them all withdrawn after the shooting.

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  • Morbshock

    There’s so much that the lame street media doesn’t tell the general public on purpose.
    For example, the writer of this article mentions the burning of the Qurans by American soldiers without telling why they were burned in the first place!
    This is done purposely in an attempt to inflame the situation in Afghanistan even worse. The so called holy books were burned because terrorists were writing inside them and passing the books back and forth to each other to get their messages across. Writing in that book is against Islamic law!
    Telling the truth changes the entire picture of the book burnings from black to white. Don’t you agree?

    We need to get out of the Middle East and the rest of the world and just worry about America before we don’t have it to worry about anymore
    .
    Our troops are burnt out and for being the ultimate super power, we haven’t won a major war since World War Two due to our incompetent government.
    They have sent us down a path of destruction which soon will be too late to recover from.

    Do I hear revolution?
    I pray that it will never happen but it sure doesn’t look too promising out their.

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    • dfg

      да, я не согласен, ебанный ты пиндостанский упырь

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