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US Soldier Who Allegedly Killed Civilians Flown Out of Afghanistan

Afghans in Jalalabad burn an effigy depicting U.S. President Barack Obama following Sunday's killing of civilians in Panjwai by a U.S. soldier.
Afghans in Jalalabad burn an effigy depicting U.S. President Barack Obama following Sunday's killing of civilians in Panjwai by a U.S. soldier.
Luis Ramirez

The U.S. military announced Wednesday that it has moved an army soldier suspected of killing 16 Afghan civilians in a rampage out of Afghanistan.

Charges have yet to be filed against a U.S. Army staff sergeant who witnesses say left his base in Kandahar province and went on a shooting rampage in two villages, killing 16 civilians, including several children.

A U.S. service member's shooting rampage Sunday in a rural Afghan village is the latest strain on an often tense relationship between Washington and Kabul. These are other key incidents to have sparked discord:

February 20, 2012: U.S. soldiers burn copies of the Quran, said to be filled with extremist messages, in a landfill at the U.S. Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan. The burning sparks days of deadly anti-American protests across the country, leaving more than 30 Afghans and American soldiers dead.

January 11, 2012: A video surfaces on the Internet showing what appears to be four U.S. marines urinating on the bodies of three suspected Taliban fighters. In the less than minute-long video, a soldier is heard saying, "Have a great day, buddy."

May 4, 2009: The Afghan government says a U.S. airstrike targeting Taliban insurgents in western Afghanistan kills at least 140 civilians, including many children, in the village of Granai.

July 6, 2008: A U.S. air strike thought be targeting insurgents strikes a caravan of Afghan civilians traveling to a wedding. The attack kills 47 people, including 39 women and children.

Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby says U.S. forces moved him out of Afghanistan because they do not have the proper detention facilities.  Kirby says the soldier's safety was also a factor.

"He's been in an interim facility since then at Kandahar, and now we have to, by our own policies and regulations, and for his own safety and security, and to be appropriately available to investigators, we had to move him to appropriate detention facilities," he said.

U.S. officials did not say where the suspect was taken, but that he was not returned to the United States.  Officials are withholding his identity until charges are filed.

Some officials in the Afghan government have demanded that the soldier be tried in Afghanistan.  U.S. officials say the case will be handled by the U.S. military justice system.

The transfer was announced as U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was on a visit to Afghanistan.

On his way to the region this week, Panetta said the soldier could face execution, if he is found guilty.

In a separate development, U.S. officials say an Afghan civilian stole a pickup truck from a coalition soldier and sped across a tarmac at a military base in southern Afghanistan as Panetta’s airplane was landing.

Officials say the suspect’s clothes caught fire after the truck crashed into a ditch, but that the secretary was not in danger.

 

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by: Cha Cha Cohen
March 15, 2012 6:00 AM
From the friendly fire in Balkan war, urinating on afgan deads, burning Holy Koran, Killing innocents, America has successfully created 'terrorists' which did not exist but for excuses for war. Now we can successfully make money from amunitions! Job done!

by: Gangster
March 15, 2012 5:25 AM
"Allegedly" who killed Afghan children and women. Are you serious ? What a great impartiality ! What does this sly policy of provocation mean ? TSA scanners have been corrupted in USA airports , why ? Who has been gaining benefits from those endless wars ?

by: Briny
March 15, 2012 4:54 AM
One deranged man, an American soldier, committing an act of savagery-an outrage. An entire subculture, the "taliban", committing countless acts of savagery-a noble cause. Those who support this vile calculus are partners in the real barbarism loose in the world.

by: greg
March 15, 2012 3:11 AM
i guess, americans have to think of themselves more than "take care" of other nations.they didnt even manage to call war in georgia war though it was war conflict cuz were afraid to get in conflict with russia interests.hey, americans, you are super nation any more...... to dictate your will throughout the world

by: greg
March 15, 2012 3:06 AM
always wherever americans appear-they bring destruction and tears:be it afghanistan, iraq or former yugoslavia or many other countries throught whole history of its existence.i was shocked seeing pics of things they did to Vietnamese when i visited vietnam. hey, guys, its 21 century.what good you can do to people. without your profit you will not do anything to other nations.

by: Echoes
March 15, 2012 1:34 AM
For Thomasi, perhaps you have never served in an operational area on the ground in a combat role, where the enemy is "invisible" and have understood, that life is not an "everyday given". Whilst no condoning the conduct of the individual, let the US military deal with this matter and support your Country.

by: mervin
March 15, 2012 12:08 AM
America should learn to respect another national values, norms and their religious views when ever they are in their country.if they feel to be superior then they should stop occupying their nations and stay in they country and abuse their own people.

by: Echoes
March 14, 2012 7:28 PM
Numerous acts of terrorism by the Taliban against the civillian population and soldiers supporting the Afghan Government are
readily overlooked by many people or dismissed as unfortunate.
The effects post PTSD need to be continually looked at in this
war situation, to reduce the risk, something which civillians dont
understand.

by: Thomasi
March 14, 2012 2:46 PM
The crimes of the Taliban have nothing to do with whether this soldier should be brought to justice. Are we supposed to give him a pass because other people have done just as bad or worse? War is a not a free-for-all murder party, though there are always a few soldiers who behave as though it is. (Or in many cases, simply lose their minds, as may have happened here). War crimes are exactly that--crimes--and must be prosecuted, whether they're committed by the enemy or by our own.

by: Just Saying
March 14, 2012 2:37 PM
Two things, one let them have the soldier, we don't need bad apples making the rest of our soldiers look bad, two, lets get out of there, one soldier does something bad and the Afgans blame all of us, not taking into account that we are trying to make things better for them (of course we have our own interests too but I digress) no matter what we do for them, they'll always hate us and our way of life, so lets leave....
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