This video is called Merkel visits Afghanistan amid rage against NATO.
Nine of the 16 civilians killed on Sunday in Balandi and Alkozai villages were children and three were women, according to the Afghan president. Some of their bodies were burnt after they were killed.
Villagers have described the gunman stalking from house to house in the middle of the night, opening fire on sleeping families and then burning some of the dead bodies.
Witnesses interviewed by The Associated Press after the attack described only one shooter, and U.S. officials have been adamant that there was only one soldier involved.
But on Tuesday, villagers who testified to the delegation insisted there were two soldiers, citing relatives who survived the attacks.
Mohammad Wazir, who was away from his home in Balandi village that night, said his sister saw two U.S. soldiers enter the house and start shooting. Everyone started running different directions, and she ran to the kitchen to hide. When the gunfire ended and she re-emerged, 11 of her relatives were dead.
In Alkozai to the south, a man named Sayed Jan said his cousins told him that they saw two soldiers come into his house and start firing. Jan’s relatives barricaded their door and snuck out another exit. Jan was away in Kandahar city that night.
The villages are about 40 miles southwest of Kandahar city.
The villagers’ anger was evident in discussions with the visiting officials before the attack cut the visit short.
“Today, the Kandahar governor was trying to explain to the villagers that he was only one soldier, that he was not a sane person and that he was sick,” said Abdul Rahim Ayubi, a Kandahar lawmaker who was part of the delegation.
“But the people were just shouting and they were very angry. They didn’t listen to the governor. They accused him of defending the Americans instead of defending the Kandahari people,” Ayubi said.
Also from CBS:
The gunbattle came as images of the aftermath of Sunday’s killings spread across the country, and the public reaction — which at first seemed surprisingly muted — began to build.
In the east, students staged the first significant protest in response to the killings, raising concerns about a repeat of the wave of violent demonstrations that rocked the nation after last month’s burning of Korans by troops at a U.S. base.
Burning an effigy of President Obama and chanting “Death to America,” the protesters in the city of Jalalabad demanded the accused U.S. soldier face a public trial in their own country, Clark reports.
See also here.
Helene Cooper and Eric Schmitt, The New York Times News Service: “The Obama administration is discussing whether to reduce American forces in Afghanistan by at least an additional 20,000 troops by 2013, reflecting a growing belief within the White House that the mission there has now reached the point of diminishing returns”: here.
Britain: Three-quarters of public believe war in Afghanistan is unwinnable: here.
Stick to the plan in bloodsoaked Afghanistan, David Cameron insists – but pollsters revealed today Britain officially wants the troops home now: here.
The killing of innocent Afghans must end – and not just at the hands of “lone gunmen.” That was the message as Afghans gathered in London’s Trafalgar Square last night after a US soldier killed 16 civilians in a shooting rampage in southern Kandahar on Sunday: here.
Afghan Massacre: After Losing Homes in NATO Attacks, Victims Moved Near U.S. Base Hoping for Safety: here.
Was Soldier-Shooter in Afghanistan Redeployed With PTSD? Ralph Lopez, War Is A Crime: “The Army is keeping mum on whether the Army sergeant who went on a rampage in Afghanistan has ever been evaluated or asked for evaluation for PTSD, but it is well known that in recent years the culture of the military has been to sweep such problems under the rug, in order to redeploy as many soldiers as possible. The Army has acknowledged that the soldier had been diagnosed with a ‘traumatic brain injury’ after a vehicle rollover in Iraq”: here.
The LEFT condemns assassination attack on women’s rights activist Malalai Joya in Afghanistan: here.
USA: This week, peace groups around the country are calling Congress with the message: end the Afghanistan war now! Call your Representative at 877-429-0678 and tell him or her to support and co-sponsor H. 780, which would limit funding for the war to funds that are necessary for a safe and orderly withdrawal. Check the link to see whether your Rep is already a co-sponsor–if so, thank him or her for their support, and tell them to everything in their power to promote the bill and its mission: here.
Afghanistan and pipelines: here.