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Anger and sadness over Afghan deaths

posted 12 Mar 2012, 06:32 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 12 Mar 2012, 06:32 ]

Residents in Kandahar demand answers over the slaughter of villagers by an American soldier.

AFGHANISTAN-KANDAHAR MORNING/NATO - On the streets of Kandahar news of the killing of 16 Afghan villagers, mostly children, by an American soldier has prompted a mixture of sadness and outrage.

Haji Deen Mohammad, Kandahar resident, saying

"We've been told the soldier was drunk and we demand the government investigate this. The people of Kandahar are very concerned and shocked by this incident. How come an infidel went to the houses of Muslims and massacred children and women? I feel very sad. I'm even ready to take the Taliban's side to fight these foreigners."

Haji Nazar, Kandahar resident, saying (Pashto):

"This is a tragic incident. We heard reports that this soldier had a mental problem and this should be investigated, and whether he was drunk. If he did this deliberately he should be punished with death. Otherwise it will raise many questions and will help the Taliban to benefit from it and get stronger."

NATO International Security Assistance Force spokesman, Brigadier Carsten Jacobsen, says and inquiry is underway.

Brigadier General Carsten Jacobsen, NATO International Security Assistance Force spokesman, saying 

"A single U.S. soldier left a forward operating base, went into the neighbouring village and opened fire on innocent civilians, then returned to his base and was taken into custody, and he is now in U.S. custody and the investigation into this case, his reasons, has started."

The bloodshed is the latest U.S. public relations disaster in Afghanistan after the discovery of burned copies of the Koran at Bagram air base.

Paul Chapman, Reuters