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Shooting Suspect Afghanistan Flown

March 15, 2012 by staff 

Shooting Suspect Afghanistan Flown, The U.S. soldier suspected of killing 16 Afghan villagers on a rampage was caught on surveillance video that showed him walking up to his base, laying down his weapon and raising his arms in surrender, according to an Afghan official who viewed the footage.

The official said Wednesday there were also two to three hours of video footage covering the time of the attack that Afghan investigators are trying to get from the U.S. military. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

U.S. authorities showed their Afghan counterparts the video of the surrender to prove that only one perpetrator was involved in Sunday’s shootings, the official said. The shootings, which claimed the lives of nine children among the 16 dead, has further strained already shaky relations between the U.S. and Afghanistan.

Some Afghan officials and residents in the villages that were attacked have insisted there was more than one shooter. If this disagreement persists, it could deepen the distrust even more.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta arrived in the country Wednesday, the first senior American official to visit since the killings. He and other American officials have said the tragedy should not derail the U.S. and NATO strategy of a gradual withdrawal of most troops by the end of 2014. But the shooting spree has fueled calls in both countries for foreign troops to leave more quickly.

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