Army Sergeant To Be Charged In Afghan Killings - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Army Sergeant To Be Charged In Afghan Killings

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - A U.S. official says the military on Friday will formally charge Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales with 17 counts of murder and six counts of attempted murder in connection with the shooting spree in two southern Afghanistan villages.

The charges come almost two weeks after the massacre.

Bales, who'd served three previous tours of duty in Iraq before being deployed to Afghanistan, allegedly left his base in the early morning hours and shot the Afghans, including nine children, while they slept in their beds, then burned some of the bodies.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the charges have not been made public, says Bales will be read the charges on Friday, and they will also include six counts of aggravated assault as well as a number of other violations of military law.

Bales, who'd been based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, is being held in a military prison in Kansas.

The AP is also reporting the attorney for the U.S. soldier accused of killing 17 Afghan civilians says his client has memory problems that pre-date the March 11 shootings.

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