ROGUE AMERICAN SOLDIER(S) MASSACRES AFGHAN CIVILIANS
Victims of American massacre
They urinated on Afghans corpses, burned the Qur'an, evoking Afghans’ protests. Now one - or reportedly a group - of their soldiers has massacred Afghan civilians. Didn’t they say they are in the Middle East on “humanitarian grounds” and to bring “democracy”? Do all these incidents sound “humanitarian” or “democratic”?
Now the Taliban, not unexpectedly, has vowed revenge over the massacre.
US soldiers kill 16 civilians in Afghanistan: Kabul government
Reuters - March 12, 2012.
Kandhar: Western forces shot dead 16 civilians including nine children in southern Kandahar province on Sunday, Afghan officials said, in a rampage that witnesses said was carried out by American soldiers who were laughing and appeared drunk.
One Afghan father who said his children were killed in the shooting spree accused soldiers of later burning the bodies.
Witnesses told Reuters they saw a group of US soldiers arrive at their village in Kandahar's Panjwayi district at around 2 am, enter homes and open fire.
The incident, one of the worst of its kind since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, is likely to deepen the divide between Washington and Kabul.
The US embassy in Kabul said an American soldier had been detained over the shooting. It added that anti-US reprisals were possible following the killings, which come just weeks after US soldiers burned copies of the Koran at a NATO base, triggering widespread anti-Western protests.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the rampage as "intentional murders" and demanded an explanation from the United States. His office said the dead included nine children and three women.
An Afghan minister earlier told Reuters that a lone US soldier had killed up to 16 people when he burst into homes in villages near his base in the middle of the night.
Panjwayi district is about 35 km (22 miles) west of the provincial capital Kandahar city. The district is considered the spiritual home of the Taliban and is believed to be a hive of insurgent activity.
Haji Samad said 11 of his relatives were killed in one house, including his children. Pictures showed blood-splattered walls where the children were killed.
"They (Americans) poured chemicals over their dead bodies and burned them," a weeping Samad told Reuters at the scene.
"I saw that all 11 of my relatives were killed, including my children and grandchildren," said Samad, who had left the home a day earlier.
Neighbours said they awoke to crackling gunfire from American soldiers, whom they described as laughing and drunk.
"They were all drunk and shooting all over the place," said neighbor Agha Lala, who visited one of the homes where the incident took place. "Their bodies were riddled with bullets."
A senior US defense official said Defense Secretary Leon Panetta "was deeply saddened to hear last night of this incident and is closely monitoring reports out of Afghanistan." The White House also expressed concern.
The Afghan Taliban would take revenge for the deaths, the group said in an e-mailed statement to media.
The US embassy in Kabul said an investigation was under way into Sunday's shooting and that "the individual or individuals responsible for this act will be identified and brought to justice".
The commander of NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) General John Allen said he was "shocked and saddened" by the shooting, and promised a rapid investigation.
The Minister of Border and Tribal Affairs Asadullah Khalid, who is investigating the incident, said the soldier entered three homes, killing 11 people in the first one.
"The defense minister ... is deeply shocked and saddened by the killings of 15 innocent civilians and the wounding of nine more at the hands of the coalition forces," the Defense Ministry in Kabul said in a statement.
Civilian casualties have been a major source of friction between Karzai's Western-backed government and US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan.
The shootings could intensify friction between Washington and Kabul as NATO prepares to hand over all security responsibilities to Afghans by the end of 2014, a process which has already started.
The Koran burning and the violence that followed, including a spate of deadly attacks against US soldiers, tested brittle ties between the governments of Karzai and President Barack Obama and underscored the challenges that the West faces even as it moves to withdraw.
All foreign combat troops will withdraw by end-2014 from a costly war that has become increasingly unpopular.
Source: IBN Live.
Taliban vows revenge after U.S. Sergeant on SEAL team 'shoots dead nine sleeping Afghan children before burning their bodies' in deadly rampage that killed 16
By Beth Stebner and Thomas Durante, Daily Mail, updated 12 March 2012.
NATO troops in Afghanistan are on high alert after the Taliban vowed to avenge the deaths of 16 innocent civilians - including nine children and three women - who were shot and killed by a rogue U.S. soldier who opened fire after suffering a 'mental breakdown' early Sunday morning.
The Army staff sergeant, stationed at a U.S. base in Kandahar, entered three Afghan family’s homes at 3am and began the vicious killing spree. Relatives of the dead said he then 'poured chemicals over their dead bodies and burned them.'
The shooter is an Army staff sergeant from Fort Lewis-McChord in Washington state, and was believed to have acted alone.
Military officials are investigating the incident and working to discover what made the soldier - believed to be a father of three - snap to such extremes that he would embark on a killing mission.
With tensions rising in the region, U.S. and British officials said they were now braced for a backlash as the Taliban claimed the killings were the work of 'more than one soldier'.
Militants condemned the 'blood-soaked and inhumane crime' by 'sick-minded American savages' on its website and vowed to take revenge 'for every single martyr with the help of Allah'.
Initial reports indicated the gunman returned to his base after the shooting, calmly turned himself in and was taken into custody at a NATO base in Afghanistan.
In a statement, Afghan President Hamid Karzai left open the possibility of more than one shooter. He initially spoke of a single U.S. gunman, then referred to 'American forces' entering houses…
The IBN Live account presents an entirely different picture to the those carried by the corporate (mainstream) media. The New York Times claim that the killing spree was carried by a lone U.S. sergeant, likewise the Daily Mail report above, all of which is in contrast to the IBN Live report that cites eyewitness accounts of multiple gunmen.
The discrepancy is hardly surprising. It may represent a deliberate exercise in damage limitation. But they can’t hide the truth, not in this age of internet.
Here are photos of the aftermath of the massacre from the Afghan side, sourced from the above Daily Mail report.
|Two grief-stricken Afghan men look into the van where the body |
of a badly burned child lays, wrapped in a blue blanket.
|The bodies of an elderly Afghan man and a child killed in the Alkozai village of Panjwayi district are shown wrapped in blankets.|
|An Afghan youth mourns for his relatives, who were allegedly killed by the U.S. service member.||An elderly Afghan man sits next to the covered body of a person who was killed early today by a U.S. service member.|
|Afghan men investigate at the site of an shooting incident in Kandahar province.||Relatives sat in shock in a van also carrying the bodies of their kin wrapped in blankets.|
|A man sits in a truck bed keeping watch over the body of a young boy.||A grieving Afghan sits in a van next to one of the bodies.|
Now let’s look at photos from the American side, sourced from the IBN Live article above and the same Daily Mail report.
Do any of the above pictures looks like “democracy” or “humanitarian” or even a semblance of it?
The reality is more like the picture below: