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U.S. Service Member Detained For Allegedly Shooting Afghans

Filed by KOSU News in World News.
March 11, 2012

A U.S. service member has been detained in Afghanistan, according to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). NATO spokesman Capt. Justin Brockhoff tells The Associated Press that the service member allegedly shot Afghan civilians, but did not give details about the incident.

There are conflicting reports about the number wounded or if people were killed.

In a statement, ISAF said the shooting will be investigated. It added:

“This is a deeply regrettable incident and we extend our thoughts and concerns to the families involved.”

We’ll be updating the blog with more information as it comes.

Update at 4:30 a.m. ET. Soldier Left Military Base:

NPR’s Ahmad Shafi tells our Newscast Unit:

“Afghan officials say a U.S. soldier opened fire on civilians after wandering off his military base in the Panjwai district of Kandahar province.”

Update at 3:32 a.m. ET. Continued Tension:

Kandahar Gov. Tooryalai Wesa says people were killed and wounded in the shooting in Kandahar province, according to the AP. But NATO spokesman Capt. Justin Brockhoff said the coalition did not have reports of any deaths, but “multiple wounded.”

As Al-Jazeera reports, “civilian casualties have been a major source of friction” between the Afghan government and U.S.-led NATO forces in the country. The news agency adds:

“Anti-American sentiment had already been running high before news of the latest civilian casualties.”

Recent anti-American protests and violence in Afghanistan follow international forces’ burning of Qurans, which were reported Feb. 21. U.S. officials, including President Obama, have apologized for the incident. The U.S. military says the religious texts were mistakenly mixed with trash. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

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