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US soldier killing motive unclear, says Pentagon

US soldier killing motive unclear, says Pentagon

Mar 14, 2012 - 11:52

WASHINGTON (PANinfo-icon): The Pentagon on Tuesday said preliminary probe could not determine the motive behind the American troop massacre of 16 civilians in Kandahar and investigation was still in progress.

Investigators from the US Army’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID), are at present interviewing several local Afghans and Americans stationed in Afghanistaninfo-icon and would submit their report to General John Allen, Commander of US and NATOinfo-icon troops in Afghanistan.

However, the timeline to file charges against the suspected American soldier, held at an unspecified location in Afghanistan, had not been determined yet, said Pentagon spokesman, Navy Capt John Kirby.

“No idea about his motivation right now,” he said when asked what was the motive behind such a killing.

Kirby said according to their initial understanding a search was put on for the suspect, he returned to the outpost before being found and there he was apprehended by the US authorities. At the same time, he cautioned that these facts could change as the investigation proceeds.

“My understanding is that there were two villages here that fell victim to these attacks – people in two villages,” he said.

“It is a crime being investigated by the US Army’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID). They will finish their work and forward their findings to the chain of command, which would then make judicial processes decisions,” he said.

The investigators, he said, continue to interview a range of individuals, both on the American and the Afghan side. “I do not know what specific things they are looking for. We are still gathering facts, talking to people,” he said, adding that investigators are working closely with Afghan authorities and local villagers.

Kirby said the notion that there is a “great breach of trust between us and our Afghan partners is simply wrong. It’s not true. It’s not what you see when you go out in the field and on the ground with these guys every day.”

The perpetrator, if found guilty, would be held accountable to the full count of US laws, he said. “But it’s not just fair or right, not just to us, but to our Afghan partners to extrapolate some greater meaning to this, to the larger effort,” Kirby said. 



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