Accused Afghan Shooter Had Arrest Record

Lawyer plans to meet with Robert Bales today
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2012 2:00 AM CDT
Updated Mar 19, 2012 7:00 AM CDT
Taliban: US Shooter Didn't Work Alone
Taliban leader tells CNN that he doesn't believe Robert Bales was the only American involved in the shooting death of 16 in Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/DVIDS, Spc. Ryan Hallock, File)

(Newser) – Taliban leaders are insisting that US Staff Sergeant Robert Bales didn't act alone when he allegedly massacred 16 Afghan civilians as they slept. "We don't think that one American was involved," a Taliban official told CNN, without offering further details. "The foreigners and the puppet regime" in Afghanistan "are blind to the truth of what happened here." But whatever the case, Bales should be "prosecuted in Afghanistan, and according to Islamic law," he added. "The Afghans should prosecute him." The comments followed a move by the Taliban last week to cut off talks with the US because of American officials' "ever-changing position," said a spokesman.

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Meanwhile, more details continue to emerge about Bales, including his and his family's difficulty with repeated war tour deployments, and an arrest record that includes an assault on a girlfriend, and a hit-and-run in 2008. In the accident, a bloodied Bales was seen running into a nearby woods, reports ABC News. Bales said he fell asleep at the wheel, and paid about $1,000 in fines and restitution, according to AP. The case was dismissed. Bales' platoon leader told the Washington Post that Bales was "one of the best soldiers I have every worked with," and that he saved "many a life." Bales' attorney hopes to meet in Kansas today with his client at the Fort Leavenworth military prison. (Read more Taliban stories.)

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