Punish US soldier in Afghan court, say elders
KANDAHAR CITY (PAN): Infuriated tribal elders of Panjwae district in Kandahar want the US soldier, accused of shooting dead 16 people on Sunday, be tried in an Afghan court.
Several tribal leaders including a member of provincial council, Hajji Agha Lalai Dastagiri, Kandahar MP in Wolesi Jirga, Abdul Rahim Ayubi gathered on Monday as a protest in Kandahar Press Club, where they condemned foreign troops’ operation.
The elders urged the government to investigate the shootings thoroughly and put the soldier on trial in Afghanistan.
Dastagiri said a single US soldiers could not have been involved in the shooting incident, instead it was a pre-planned murder.
Another tribal elder, Hajji Khan Aka, said besides murdering the villagers, foreigners had also uprooted the orchards and destroyed the irrigation system in the areas.
“How is it possible that a soldier kills 11 people including women and children in different rooms of a house, bring their corpses to a room then burnt them,” he questioned.
A tribal elder from Zangabad area, Syed Mohammad Azim Agha, said that it was a flimsy excuse that a mentally sick soldier performed such a brazen act without shooting his own comrades first.
Another resident of the district, Ahmad Shah, said three days earlier a convoy of foreign troops hit roadside bombs in the area, where they suffered many casualties, but now they revenged on defenceless people.
“After the roadside bombings, foreign troops summoned tribal elders to their military base and warned that US soldiers will revenge on their children and women,” he said.
MP Ayubi criticised that the government’s investigation team is yet to reach to Kandahar, despite the incident happened on Sunday.
He asked the United Nations (UN), human rights agencies and the government to probe the killings of innocent people in Panjwae.
Officials should explain to the people the real story, otherwise it may have a bad repercussion, he added.
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