The United States has paid almost $50,000 in compensation for each Afghan killed in the shooting spree attributed to a US soldier in southern Afghanistan, an Afghan official and a community elder said today. The families of the dead received the money yesterday at the governor's office, said Kandahar provincial council member Agha Lalai. Each wounded person received $11,000 Lalai said. A community elder confirmed the same figures.
They were told that the money came from President Barack Obama, Lalai said. A US official confirmed that compensation had been paid but declined to discuss exact amounts, saying only that it reflected the devastating nature of the incident. A spokesman for NATO and US forces declined to confirm or deny the payments, saying that while coalition members often make compensation payments, they are usually kept private. "As the settlement of claims is in most cases a sensitive topic for those who have suffered loss, it is usually a matter of agreement that the terms of the settlement remain confidential," said the spokesman.