US Soldier Fires on Afghan Civilians, Kills at Least 16

Unknown number dead, wounded in early morning attack
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2012 6:01 AM CDT
Updated Mar 11, 2012 7:21 AM CDT

(Newser) – A US soldier in southern Afghanistan has been detained after he walked off his base this morning, shooting and killing civilians in the area, reports the New York Times. At least 16 are dead in the rampage, reports the BBC, with many women and children among them. The soldier reportedly suffered a nervous breakdown, and left the base at around 3am by himself and walked into nearby homes, shooting whoever was there. "Eleven members of my family are dead. They are all dead," says one tribal elder.

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“We don’t know why he killed people," said one man from the village. “There was no fighting or attacks." One report said the the soldier had suffered a nervous breakdown, and after the shooting he turned himself in to US authorities. “This is a horrific incident, and our thoughts are with the families of the affected," said a NATO spokesman. The shootings are sure to inflame tensions already heightened over Koran burnings last month. (Read more Afghanistan stories.)

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