US Soldier to Be Charged With 17 Counts of Murder
Robert Bales accused in Afghanistan massacre
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 22, 2012 5:56 PM CDT
Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, in a screen grab made from a military video in 2011.   (Spc. Ryan Hallock)

(Newser) – Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales will be charged with 17 counts of murder, assault, and a string of other offenses in the massacre of Afghan villagers as they slept, a US official said. The charges signed against Bales include six counts of attempted murder and six counts of aggravated assault as well as dereliction of duty and other violations of military law.

The 38-year-old soldier and father of two who lives in Lake Tapps, Wash., is charged with going on a shooting rampage in two villages near his southern Afghanistan military post in the early hours of March 11, gunning down nine Afghan children and eight adults and burning some of the victims' bodies. The charges are to be read to Bales tomorrow. He is being held in a military prison at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas and faces trial under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.