Rogue US Soldier Rampage in Afghanistan

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    US soldier kills Afghan civilians in Kandahar Tensions were already high in Afghanistan after the burning of Korans at a US base.

    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.

    The soldier - who had reportedly suffered a breakdown before the attacks - is said to have handed himself over to the US military authorities after carrying out the killings.
    The US deplores these actions and apologises for not being prepared for such an event.

    New Zealand is truly horrified by the actions of this soldier and finds them deplorable. Our condolences go out to all those affected.

    Switzerland condemns these actions and we're saddened that such things do occur in war. We hope that the US take affirmative action against US troops burning the Qua'ran as well.

    Turkey would like to firmly point out these actions are acts of a criminal and the perpetrator should be punished to the full extent of the law.

    Algeria joins Turkey on that matter... and wishes that such atrocities won't occur! Our condoleances to The Afghani people... May God have mercy on these innocent souls.

    Palestine and Lebanon condemns these actions and express hope that the US will bring the soldier to justice.

    OOC: Just to make this clear to everyone, it's *Afghan*, not Afghani

    Montenegro condemns the actions of this soldier and would like to offer its condolences to the Afghan people. We would like to join Palestine and Lebanon in expressing the hope that the US will bring the soldier to justice.

    SSG Bales charged with 17 murders but Afghan say only 16 dead

    As the U.S. military pursues charges against the Army sergeant accused of killing Afghan civilians in what commanders say was a freelance rampage, there continues to be a discrepancy between the official count of those killed and the murder count Staff Sgt. Robert Bales is charged with.

    The word of 17 murders first leaked Thursday evening. Earlier that same day the commander of all U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan made no mention of the number being higher.

    "Just as tragic, we're now investigating what appears to be the murder of 16 innocent Afghan civilians at the hand of a U.S. servicemember," Gen. John Allen told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

    On Friday, Bales was charged with 17 counts of murder "with premeditation" in the March 11 slayings in the Panjwai district of Afghanistan's Kandahar Province. But Afghan authorities have said there were 16 people killed in the Panjwai killings.

    Sunday, two Afghan provincial council members said the United States has paid the victims' families a total of $860,000 - $10,000 for each of the six wounded survivors, and $50,000 apiece for the 16 dead.

    Afghan government officials in Kabul have said they have no record of another death. A U.S. official confirmed that a payment had been made on Saturday - but the official, who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the situation, said he could not comment on the figure involved.

    The discrepancy has persisted since Friday, when the charge sheet on Bales listed four women among 17 victims, while initial U.S. and Afghan reports listed three women among 16 dead.

    A NATO spokesman, Col. Gary Kolb, said Friday only that investigators assigned to the case felt they had evidence to charge Bales with 17 counts of murder.
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