US Soldier Kills Afghan Civilians

March 11, 2012 by staff 

US Soldier Kills Afghan Civilians, A U.S. soldier killed 16 Afghan civilians on Sunday, including three women and nine children, in an unprovoked attack in southern Kandahar province, Afghan officials said.

Five more people also were wounded in the shooting at Belandi-Pul village of the Panjway district when the soldier entered homes and opened fire, according to a statement from President Hamid Karzai’s office.

“This intentional killing and terror is an unforgivable act,” said Karzai, who has sent two high-level delegations to investigate.

The attack threatens to further worsen relations between ISAF and Afghans, already badly strained by the recent burning of Korans and other religious material by U.S. military personnel. That incident, at the U.S.-run Bagram airbase, north of Kabul, sparked a series of demonstrations and attacks on bases belonging to the U.S. coalition that left at least 30 Afghans killed and 100 injured.

The White House issued a written statement from President Barack Obama. It read:

“I am deeply saddened by the reported killing and wounding of Afghan civilians. I offer my condolences … 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. I fully support Secretary Panetta’s and General Allen’s commitment to get the facts as quickly as possible and to hold accountable anyone responsible.”

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