by Lekan Olanrewaju
Just as the US concludes plans to pull out of Afghanistan and put an end to the 11 year war, a US soldier recently sparked a fresh outrage after killing several Afghan citizens, triggering new hostilities between the two nations.
The Afghan parliament has called for the public trial of a US soldier who allegedly killed 16 civilians in the country last week.
The lower house of parliament condemned the killings, describing them as “brutal and inhuman” and declaring that “people are running out of patience over the ignorance of foreign forces”. “We seriously demand and expect that the government of the United States punish the culprits and try them in a public trial before the people of Afghanistan,” it said.
According to the Gulf News, President Barack Obama said the massacre has increased his determination to get American troops out of Afghanistan, while a US official said the accused staff sergeant previously had suffered traumatic brain injury.
The soldier, who returned to his base and turned himself in after the act, had allegedly had a mental breakdown and went on a rampage in two villages close to a US base in the southern province of Kandahar, killing several civilians.
The dead included nine children and three women. It has been claimed 11 were shot down in one house and included four girls under the age of six.
The Afghan President Hamid Karzai described it as an “assassination” and said it could ‘not be forgiven”.
Meanwhile, The Pentagon has said it will not identify the soldier until charges are filed. Spokesman George Little said it will be “really inappropriate” to do so.
He also rejected calls for a trial in Afghanistan, stating that “the United States military has very strong means to address wrongdoing”.
“We believe that this was a lone US service-member who was involved in this deeply tragic set of shootings,” he said. “This is an isolated incident and we will pursue accountability for the alleged actions of this service-member.”