17 Dead, 6 Injured in Afghanistan Tragedy

Posted on May 24, 2012 by

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On 11 March, in the Panjwai district of Kandahar, Afghanistan, a tragedy occurred when U.S. Army staff sergeant Robert Bales killed 17 Afghani civilians during the night.

The acts he commited include not only the murders but also attempting to kill six others and attempting to destroy some of the victims’ bodies as well.

The incident has increased outrage among the Afghani populace. While there have been no violent protests, many are demanding Bales see justice on Afghani terms, which would most likely be death.

Bales is charged by the military with seventeen counts of premeditated murder and the assault and attempted murder of six other civilians. If convicted, he will face repercussions that include dishonorable discharge, reduction to the lowest enlisted grade, total forfeiture of pay and allowances, and possibly even death.

Issues have arisen over what caused Bales to commit these acts. There has been much speculation and anger over his deployment for the third time even though being told that his second deployment was to be his last. Others claim the actions were alcohol-influenced thanks to supposed reports from soldiers at the base at which he was posted when the actions took place.

Bales’s lawyer, John Browne, claims Bales suffers from brain injuries suffered from combat and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which he intends to use to protect Bales from the death penalty. The U.S. government, in attempts to show sympathy for the surviving victims and the families of those killed, has paid $50,000 in compensation for each person killed and $11,000 for each person injured. The survivors and the families of the dead have said they care far more about justice than money.

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