Afghanistan Shooting Suspect Identified

Senior US official names Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Mar 16, 2012 5:51 PM CDT

(Newser) – A senior US official says the soldier accused in the killing of 16 Afghan civilians is Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales. American officials had previously said the suspect was a 38-year-old staff sergeant and that he had spent 11 years in the Army. But they had refused to release his name, saying it is military policy to publicly name a suspect only after he has been charged with an offense. Bales has not yet been charged. He was being flown today from Kuwait to a military detention center at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

Other recent developments:


Afghan villagers pray during a prayer ceremony for the victims of Sunday's killing of civilians by a US soldier in Panjwai, Kandahar province south of Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, March. 13, 2012.   (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan)
In this Aug. 23, 2011, Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System photo, Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, left, is seen.   (AP Photo/DVIDS, Spc. Ryan Hallock)
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