U.S. soldier rampage leaves Afghan families in pain   2012-03-18 23:53:17            

by Abdul Haleem, Yangtze Yan

KABUL, March 18 (Xinhua) -- "This soldier broke into the house of Samad, my brother in-law, and then opened random fire. His family lost 11 people including innocent women and children," a wailing lady Anar Gul murmured to Xinhua.

Samad Khan was the only survivor of his family because he was away from Balandi village when a runaway U.S. soldier went on a house-to-house shooting spree in southern Afghan villages last Sunday.

Anar Gul also escaped unhurt from the nearby Zangabad village of Panjwai district in Kandahar province. Revealing her ordeal, the upset lady said the soldier beat the door in a barbaric way in the pre-dawn bloodshed. "Fortunately my brother in-law was not at home that night and survived," whispered Anar Gul wiping off her tears.

"Are we Taliban? Even Taliban don't commit such crime. These Americans frequently search our houses with dogs and this time committed massacre," Anar Gul questioned, calling on the Afghan president to come and see what has happened to her family.

U.S. officials claimed that the tragic incident took place at mid night March 10-11 when a U.S. soldier walked out of his base in Panjwai district, entered a few houses in the neighborhood and opened indiscriminate fire killing 16 civilians including three women and nine children and wounding nine other villagers.

Disputing the U.S. claim, however, local witnesses said that a group of U.S. soldiers had committed the crime instead of one single soldier acting alone.

"These soldiers like a group of thieves entered the houses and committed massacre. I personally counted 15 dead bodies including some women and children," Zangabad villager Allah Gul, 57, told Xinhua.

Shortly Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the awful shooting spree and demanded explanation from the U.S. government. Karzai also called for the pullout of U.S. troops in 2013, a year earlier than planned by the United States and the allied nations.

On Friday when meeting with some relatives of the victims of the Kandahar massacre at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, Karzai accused the United States of failing to aid the investigation into the killing by American soldier.

Meanwhile, both the Wolesi Jirga (lower house) and Mushrano Jirga (upper house) of the Afghan parliament in sharp reactions strongly denounced the gruesome incident and demanded public punishment for those behind the callous act in Kandahar.

After visiting the affected area, an investigation delegation of the parliament found out two groups of American soldiers totaling 15 to 20 troops carried out the attack in Panjwai district.

"What is wrong with us that both Americans and Taliban kill us? Why the U.S. soldier committed this crime and killed my brother?" questioned Rahila, another lady who lost her brother in the rampage shooting.

"The Americans killed my brother in this house at mid-night without any reason. He is no more with us but who will look after his five children?" said a crying Rahila while pointing out finger towards a mud house where his brother was gunned down by U.S. soldier.

Special Report: Afghanistan Situation

Editor: Chen Zhi
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