Afghan Massacre's 17th Victim: Fetus
US had bumped toll from 16 dead
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Mar 26, 2012 7:45 AM CDT
In this Sunday, March 11, 2012 file photo, Afghan security forces stand guard outside a home where witnesses say Afghans were killed by a US soldier in Panjwai, Kandahar province.   (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan, File)

(Newser) – The US military raised the death toll in the March 11 massacre of Afghan villagers from 16 to 17 last week; now Afghan police explain why. The 17th victim was an unborn baby, an officer tells the New York Times: "The Americans are right and one of the females was pregnant, which is why they are saying 17." But other Afghan officials call the new number a "mistake." "There is no 17th person dead. According to our records, it is 16," says one.

Sixteen is the number of dead the US has reportedly paid compensation for, at $50,000 per victim. US officials have also paid out $11,000 for each of six people wounded in the attacks, bringing the total to $866,000. An unborn baby's death could be deemed murder according to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, even if the killer didn't know a victim was pregnant and even if he didn't mean to kill the fetus; the Times notes that that section of the code is rarely used.

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Showing 3 of 6 comments
Mar 27, 2012 12:30 AM CDT
The only article I want to read is "U.S. soldier gets death penalty for killing 17 Afghans and burning their bodies". He deserves no mercy. I dont care if an Afghan gypsy put a spell on him which made him kill all these people, I dont care if he was drunk, I dont care if he was so sad because he saw his friends leg blown off, I dont care how long he has served, he has disgraced our soldiers, our country even more and deserves to die. You get what you put out into this world. His life is the least he can offer to the ones he took.
Mar 26, 2012 4:47 PM CDT
A fetus is not a person. Just like how an egg is not a chicken and a caterpillar is not a butterfly.
Mar 26, 2012 11:46 AM CDT
Fucking Annoying. US just trying to buy their way out!! When the Bhopal happened because of the Union Carbide plant leaking, Those people still have not been compensated. This is just going to drag on.