Afghan officials: no witness saw many shooters

Mar 21, 2012, 7:03 PM

Associated Press

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) – None of the Afghans who witnessed the March 11 massacre of 16 villagers has reported personally seeing more than one shooter, despite claims that many U.S. soldiers took part in the killing, two Afghan officials said Wednesday.

Afghan villagers disputed U.S. statements that only one shooter was involved in the killings in the southern Panjwai district. Afghan investigators heard villagers claim more than a dozen Americans were involved.

The two Afghan officials told The Associated Press that accounts of many gunmen were based on hearsay.

“To my knowledge, everybody in the villages said only that somebody had told them that they had seen several foreign troops in the villagers where the shootings occurred,” said Fazal Mohammad, the top government official for Panjwai district.

“But nobody personally said that they had seen a group of troops in this incident. The evidence collected from the villagers was not enough to confirm that there was more than one shooter. I personally met many different people there, but I never found a single person who personally saw a number of foreign troops.”

Mohammad also said that he suspected that insurgents may have been trying to take advantage of the shooting incident.

“It is possible that some people were passing around information,” he said. “It is time for Afghanistan to calm down and not let the insurgents take advantage of this case. They want foreign troops to leave such areas like this so they can hold those areas. We should be aware of their intentions and try to help the government, not the insurgents.”

Sardar Mohammad Nazari, chief of police for Panjwai district, also said that he never found one person who had seen a group of foreign troops with their own eyes.

U.S. officials launched a search party after the alleged shooter, Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, went missing, and the Afghans could have confused the searchers for assailants.

Bales was taken into custody following the killings and was transferred to the U.S. military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

In Washington, the Pentagon disputed a claim by villagers that there was a roadside bombing the day before the shooting attack, wounding some soldiers, and the shooting spree was retaliation.

A Pentagon spokesman, Navy Capt. John Kirby, told reporters that U.S. officials had no indication that such a bombing happened.

He also disputed a claim by villagers that U.S. troops lined them up against a wall after the roadside bombing and told them that they would pay a price for it.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

World News

FILE - A fuel trucks drives along a highway in Frankfurt, Germany, Jan. 27, 2023. European Union go...
Associated Press

Europe bans Russian diesel, other oil products over Ukraine

The new sanctions create uncertainty about prices as the 27-nation European Union finds new supplies of diesel from the U.S., Middle East and India.
1 day ago
(Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for BoF VOICES)...
Associated Press

Vivienne Westwood, influential fashion maverick, dies at 81

Vivienne Westwood, an influential fashion maverick who played a key role in the punk movement, died Thursday at 81.
1 month ago
FILE - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during his first Cabinet meeting flanked by his ...
Associated Press

Rishi Sunak: UK’s ex-Treasury chief gets his shot at PM job

LONDON (AP) — Rishi Sunak ran for Britain’s top job and lost. Then he got another shot — and the chance to say “I told you so.” The former U.K. Treasury chief was runner-up to Liz Truss in the contest to replace the scandal-plagued Boris Johnson as Conservative Party leader and prime minister. But Truss […]
4 months ago
Britain's Prime Minister Liz Truss addresses the media in Downing Street in London, Thursday, Oct. ...
Associated Press

Truss quits, but UK’s political and economic turmoil persist

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Liz Truss quit Thursday after a tumultuous and historically brief term marred by economic policies that roiled financial markets and a rebellion in her political party that obliterated her authority. After just 45 days in office, Truss became the third Conservative prime minister to be toppled in as many […]
4 months ago
People receive medical treatment at the scene of Russian shelling, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Oct. 1...
Associated Press

Russia unleashes biggest attacks in Ukraine in months

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia retaliated Monday for an attack on a critical bridge by unleashing its most widespread strikes against Ukraine in months, a lethal barrage that smashed civilian targets, knocked out power and water, shattered buildings and killed at least 14 people. Ukraine’s Emergency Service said nearly 100 people were wounded in the […]
4 months ago
This illustration made available by Johns Hopkins APL and NASA depicts NASA's DART probe, upper rig...
Associated Press

NASA spacecraft smashes into asteroid for defense test

A NASA spacecraft rammed an asteroid at blistering speed Monday in an unprecedented dress rehearsal for the day a killer rock menaces Earth.
4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

(Pexels Photo)...

Sports gambling can be fun for adults, but it’s a dangerous game for children

While adults may find that sports gambling is a way to enhance the experience with more than just fandom on the line, it can be a dangerous proposition if children get involved in the activity.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
Afghan officials: no witness saw many shooters