Afghanistan shooting

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Taliban Attacks Rock Kabul

Taliban claims responsibility for series of attacks on diplomatic area, parliament

(Newser) - At least a dozen large explosions and sustained gunfire tore through Kabul this morning, in what appears to be a series of coordinated attacks on the city's diplomatic zone, reports the Telegraph . Fighting was reported around the British and US embassies, while smoke billowed from near the German embassy.... More »

Lawyer: Bales Remembers Only Smell of Bodies

...but he told soldier he shot people: official

(Newser) - When Robert Bales returned to base after allegedly killing 17 Afghan civilians, he had only a foggy memory of what just happened—a faint smell of gunfire and human bodies, and nothing else. Or at least, that's what he told lawyer John Henry Browne. Browne, who met Bales for... More »

Risky Malaria Drug: a Factor in Afghan Massacre?

US military orders emergency review of mefloquine use

(Newser) - In the wake of the shootings of 17 civilians in Afghanistan, the US military is scrambling to limit the use of an anti-malaria drug that can have serious side effects—including psychotic behavior. Mefloquine, also called Lariam, has already been implicated in a number of suicides and homicides. In 2009,... More »

Robert Bales' Wife: I Don't Think He Killed Them

Karilyn Bales tells Matt Lauer, 'This is not what it appears to be'

(Newser) - When Karilyn Bales first heard that the US soldier accused of killing 17 Afghan civilians was a 38-year-old staff sergeant, it occurred to her that "I don't think there are very many of those," she told Matt Lauer on Today this morning, and she "prayed and... More »

Afghan Massacre's 17th Victim: Fetus

US had bumped toll from 16 dead

(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... More »

US Pays $50K Per Death in Afghan Rampage

US also pays $11K per wounded person, but US officials have no comment

(Newser) - 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... More »

Afghan Massacre Death Toll Now 17

No details given on why it was raised

(Newser) - The death toll in the March 11 massacre of Afghan villagers is now 17, US defense officials say. They today confirmed that investigators have increased the number of dead from the widely reported 16, but they were unable to immediately explain the change. There was initial confusion about the number... More »

Robert Bales' Lawyer: US Has No Proof

John Henry Browne says there's no 'forensic evidence, no confession'

(Newser) - The case of Robert Bales, the US soldier accused of massacring 16 Afghan civilians in the middle of the night, might seem like an open-and-shut case. Not so fast, says Bales' lawyer. Having huddled with Bales for a total of 11 hours in two meetings this week, John Henry Browne... More »

Lawyer Has 'Emotional' Talk With Accused Afghan Killer

John Henry Browne meets with Robert Bales at Forth Leavenworth

(Newser) - Staff Sgt Robert Bales' new layer met with him at Fort Leavenworth today and described the encounter as "emotional," the BBC reports. "What's going on on the ground in Afghanistan, you read about it, I read about it, but it's totally different when you... More »

Media Makes Excuses for Robert Bales

Glenn Greenwald on America's double standard

(Newser) - When US media outlets speculate on Robert Bales' motives for killing 16 Afghan civilians, they say he had financial and family problems, had served multiple tours of duty, saw a friend's leg blown off, etc. But when Muslims kill Americans, their motives are clear: "they are primitive, fanatically... More »

Accused Soldier's Wife Blogged on Army Anguish

Karilyn Bales detailed life on the home front while Bob Bales was deployed

(Newser) - Before she was the wife of the soldier accused of gunning down 16 Afghan civilians, Karilyn Bales was just another Army wife, stoically raising two small children through her husband's four deployments and blogging about the joyousness of homecomings and the ache of long absences. Bales' blog appears to... More »

Afghanistan Shooting Suspect Identified

Senior US official names Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales

(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... More »

Taliban Breaks Off Peace Talks With US

As Hamid Karzai tells NATO to clear out of all rural villages, bases

(Newser) - The Afghan Taliban suspended talks with the US "until they show willingness in carrying out their promises instead of wasting time," the group said in a statement today, according to al-Jazeera . The group complained of America's "alternating and ever-changing position" and said it would put off... More »

Accused Soldier Flown Out of Afghanistan

Massacre suspect moved to 'appropriate detention facilities' in Kuwait

(Newser) - The American soldier accused of massacring 16 Afghan civilians in a pre-dawn shooting spree has been flown to Kuwait, angering Afghans who want him to stand trial in their country. He was whisked out of Afghanistan because of "our own policies and regulations, and for his own safety and... More »

Video Shows Suspected Afghan Shooter Surrender

Soldier seen removing Afghan shawl, laying down his weapon

(Newser) - Afghan officials have suggested more than one shooter was involved in Sunday's massacre of 16 villagers , but surveillance video shows just one US soldier. The still-unnamed soldier is shown returning to his base, setting his weapon on the ground, removing a traditional Afghan shawl, and raising his arms in... More »

'They Let Americans Kill Us'

Tribal elder reacts to death of his family

(Newser) - Abdul Samad used to believe in the campaign against the Taliban. When he moved his family back to the village of Panjwai, he settled in a house close to an American military base, believing that there, he would be safe from militants. But all that changed Sunday, when he returned... More »

In Afghan Killings, a Nagging 'What If'

Afghan base learned solider had left, but search party was too late

(Newser) - As more details emerge in Sunday's slaughter of 16 Afghan civilians, the Wall Street Journal reports on an unfortunate "what if." It turns out that the small base where the accused Army staff sergeant was stationed was aware he left around 3am, thanks to an Afghan soldier... More »

Afghan Soldier Killed at Service for Rampage Victims

Taliban, meanwhile, threatens to behead US soldiers

(Newser) - Militants opened fire on a prayer service for the 16 people killed in a US soldier's shooting rampage this weekend, targeting a visiting government delegation that included two of Hamid Karzai's brothers, along with senior defense, intelligence, and interior ministry officials. The militants fired from a distance, killing... More »

Afghanistan Shooting Suspect Had Brain Injury

Soldier also had marital trouble before deployment

(Newser) - The lone US soldier suspected of fatally shooting 16 Afghan civilians in a berserk weekend rampage suffered a traumatic brain injury during a recent tour of war duty, sources tell ABC News . The 38-year-old unidentified Army staff sergeant was treated for traumatic brain injury after some kind of vehicle accident,... More »

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