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.
    Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conferencei
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    May 30, 2016 5:11 PM
    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora