U.S. Soldier Suspected In Afghan Shooting Spree - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Soldier Suspected In Afghan Shooting Spree

PHOTO From MSNBC PHOTO From MSNBC
WASHINGTON, D.C. -

A U.S. official says the American who killed 16 Afghan villagers Sunday is a soldier from Washington who was assigned to a remote special operations site.

U.S. officials say the soldier acted alone, leaving his base in southern Afghanistan and opening fire on sleeping families in two villages.

The official says he is a conventional soldier from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. He was assigned to support a special operations unit of either Green Berets or Navy SEALs engaged in a village stability operation.

Such operations are among NATO's best hopes for transitioning out of Afghanistan. They pair special operations troops with local villagers chosen by village elders to become essentially a
sanctioned, armed neighborhood watch.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is still ongoing.
     
     Previous Coverage:

U.S. officials say it was an American Army soldier who may have shot as many as 16 Afghans before dawn on Sunday in southern Afghanistan.

Officials say the U.S. military there is treating at least five wounded.

Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, said that President Barack Obama had been briefed on the incident. She said, "we are deeply concerned by the initial reports of this incident, and are monitoring the situation closely."

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta also has been informed of the incident.

NATO had confirmed earlier on Sunday that a U.S. service member had been detained, while Afghan officials reported that 16 people were killed including nine children and three women.
      

      
      (Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

Previous Coverage:

Afghan President Hamid Karzai says a U.S. service member has killed 16 people in a shooting including nine children and three women.

Karzai called the attack Sunday "an assassination" and demanded an explanation from the United States.

He says five people were also wounded in the attack on two villages near a U.S. base in the southern province of Kandahar.
      
      (Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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