Here’s the report from MSNBC:
U.S. officials have said the soldier acted alone, leaving his base in southern Afghanistan and opening fire on sleeping families. After the massacre, he went back to his base and turned himself in, officials said.
The military will not identify the soldier until charges are filed, Pentagon spokesman William Speaks told msnbc.com Monday. The suspect remains in Afghanistan while the attack is being investigated.
According to military officials, the soldier will be tried within the military justice system, not turned over to Afghan authorities for trial, rebuffing a call from Afghan lawmakers to use their courts.
The original story:
A U.S. soldier has reportedly killed 16 civilians in Afghanistan after suffering a supposed mental breakdown. He left his military base, entered homes and started opening fire on children, women and everything in sight.
“This is a deeply regrettable incident and we extend our thoughts and concerns to the families involved,” a statement from ISAF said.
The suspect is a U.S. Army Sergeant attached to a unit out of Fort Lewis in Washington state. He apparently walked a mile from his base to the Panjwai district of Kandahar and killed at least 16 civilians there, 9 of which were children. The suspect then set the bodies on fire.
AP source: Afghanistan suspect from Wash. state: http://t.co/U5Y0LEvH
— Detroit Free Press (@freep) March 11, 2012
The Joint Chiefs of Staff issued a statement, as did the U.S. Army.
President Obama also called President Karzai to express “his shock and sadness”.
Reaction on Twitter to the reports has been divided between those expressing their sympathy and anger and those making political statements.
So @PJCrowley is rightly calling this the Tet moment in Afghanistan. I'd clarify by calling it the My Lai moment.
— Doug Saunders (@DougSaunders) March 11, 2012
There's been a killing spree in #Afghanistan for 10 years, dude.
— Mike Prysner (@MikePrysner) March 11, 2012
Michael Yon, the mil-blogger, has been to Afghanistan several times and knows the area where the shootings happened. Here are some of his thoughts.