Monday, 12 March 2012
Update - 'lone' soldier line is a lie
The line that a sole deranged individual carried out the murder of 16 civilians, including children, has been repeated by global media and seemingly accepted as true.
Obviously, this version of the story is less damaging to the reputation of the US's army of occupation.
But eye witness reports spoke of a group of American soldiers who were laughing and appeared drunk.
And AP reported on Monday morning: "Afghans are expressing growing skepticism that a shooting rampage that killed 16 civilians was carried out by a single US soldier.
"Abdul Rahum Ayubi, who is a lawmaker from Kandahar province where the tragedy occurred, said Monday it seemed impossible for one soldier to cover the ground between the houses that were attacked — over a mile (2 kilometers) — and also burn the dead bodies.
"Bismullah Afghanmal, a parliament member, said the reports he received from villagers indicate the shooting before dawn Sunday came from several directions."
Bacha Agha of Balandi village told AP: "One man can't kill so many people. There must have been many people involved.
"If the government says this is just one person's act we will not accept it. ... After killing those people they also burned the bodies."
In a statement, Afghan President Hamid Karzai left open the possibility of more than one shooter.
He initially spoke of a single US gunman, then referred to "American forces" entering houses. The statement quoted a 15-year-old survivor named Rafiullah, who was shot in the leg, as telling Karzai in a phone call that 'soldiers' broke into his house, woke up his family and began shooting them.
"This is an assassination, an intentional killing of innocent civilians and cannot be forgiven," Karzai said.
The original news report from Reuters, later modified to include the official US account, said: "Witnesses told Reuters they saw a group of US soldiers arrive at their village in Kandahar's Panjwayi district at around 2am, enter homes and open fire."
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