News

    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.

     

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
     Previous    
    by: Bystander
    March 14, 2012 2:24 PM
    It's unfortunate to see one soldier's unforgivable act undermine a country (and NATO)'s effort into bringing stability to a region in dire need. We may question the Afghanistan mission as a whole but this is exactly the type of action that helps to fuel this conflict. An expedient and decisive trial of this soldier should send a message to troops that they are not above the law and that they are upheld to a higher standard when deployed into such complex conflicts.

    by: Tom Matlack
    March 14, 2012 2:01 PM
    For a riveting on the ground report on just what is going on in Afghanistan and why we seem to have learned nothing from 10 years in Iraq, read Pulitzer prize nominated Michael Kamber's piece and look at his amazing photos published today: http://bit.ly/zeEL5d

    by: Amir
    March 14, 2012 1:49 PM
    @11th acr black horse reg 67 68,
    Being an uneducated Afgan, do you think you could write in English? It would make it much easier for me to understand.
    Thank you.

    by: Paddy O
    March 14, 2012 12:59 PM
    It's really time for us to leave. There is nothing more we can do there to help anything. Afghanistan will always remain a failed state and it's solely because of it's people; not us, not the Soviets, not England, not Pakistan, nobody else to blame but the Afghans themselves. We need to stop wasting all the money we are borrowing from China on this mess and let the be miserable on their own.

    by: hamad part 1 of 3
    March 14, 2012 9:38 AM
    Panetta has disclosed recently the real face of Obama administration which does not care about US constitution and the congress . Occurring Afghans massacre after burning Quran casts heavy doubt on sly intention of this escalation . Who committed this massacre and who allowed him to leave his military bases without observation should be held accountability for this bloodshed . The commanders of American soldiers in war zone knew how much pressure those soldier

    by: rgw46
    March 14, 2012 6:32 AM
    Do not like what has happened..BUT..Has anyone told these people..educated them enough to understand the TALIBAN and there own croonies have killed thousands..and sorry I still see thousands of our people and remember 9/11..welcome to WAR... SH...Happens

    by: Matt Miller
    March 14, 2012 6:13 AM
    There was a time i had respect for Leon. Not only does he howl about a 5% cut in a 800 BILLION dollar budget NOW he defends staying in this cesspool we call Afghanistan. What is it with our government where we can't fix our own Post office, can't stop making a penny that costs 1.4 cents to make, but insists on telling other countries what to do? ~ We have become idiots since the Contract on America in the early 90's. Both parties are willing to fight wars for Israel.

    by: jacko4179420
    March 14, 2012 5:36 AM
    Vietnam Lt. Calley's syndrom

    by: Echoes
    March 14, 2012 4:11 AM
    Numerous atrocities committed by the Taliban against civilians and those soldiers supporting the Afghan Government is irrefutable.The Taliban will evade justice unlike the soldier now in custody who faces trial. Clear policies and thinking on PTSD is required to reduce this risk.

    by: 11th acr black horse reg 67 68
    March 14, 2012 3:11 AM
    what about afgans doing it to there own war is hell been there viet nam. ptsd is bad it wouldnt have happend if we werent playing police men. iv not seen ben ladens body have you. politics? buried at sea?ya right. seen alot done alot viet nam. let our boys fight. not tie there hands like nam seems we forgot the beheading of our people. blank blank.
    Comments page of 2
     Previous    

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.