Afghans say they're so inured to civilians killed in wars that they bury their dead and move on. That's not so easy for Muhammad Wazir. He lost his mother, his wife, a sister-in-law, a brother, a nephew, his four daughters and two of his sons in last week's mass shooting in two villages.
"My little boy, Habib Shah, is the only one left alive, and I love him very much," says Wazir.
The killing of 16 Afghan civilians last Sunday is now one of the greatest points of tension between the United States and Afghanistan. U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales allegedly killed the civilians in cold blood; those close to him say they were shocked by the news.
According to the Pentagon, Bales had been treated for a traumatic brain injury that he suffered in Iraq in 2010, though the extent of the damage is unclear.
There is still only sketchy information available about Staff Sgt. Robert Bales' recent experience in Afghanistan, but five years ago in Iraq, he was considered an excellent and upbeat soldier.
Bales is suspected of killing 16 unarmed Afghan civilians last Sunday. He has yet to be charged, and his civilian lawyers say they will meet with him at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., to learn the facts of the case.
Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 4:45 am
Staff Sgt. Robert Bales' commanding officer once recommended him for a medal of valor after a major battle in Iraq.
Bales was named on Friday as the U.S. soldier who allegedly killed 16 Afghan civilians last Sunday. "I was shocked that it was him," Maj. Brent Clemmer told Austin Jenkins of the Public Radio Northwest News Network. "I am still in shock about it."