One Murderer, Three Villages, One Night
March 12, 2012 Leave a comment
I find it a little hard to swallow that this is the work of one man and not, as previously reported in Rolling Stone (http://www.rollingstone.com/search?q=kill+team), part of a rogue kill squad. Probably because of political pressures on the ground commanders, they’re selling this as a lone murderer suffering from psychological problems. That’s conspiratorial, I know and I really have zero evidence other than, you know, it sounds like something we would do. But here’s the full story. You decide.
Residents of three villages in the Panjwai district of Kandahar Province described a terrifying string of attacks in which the soldier, who had walked more than a mile from his base, tried door after door, eventually breaking in to kill within three separate houses. At the first, the man gathered 11 bodies, including those of four girls younger than 6, and set fire to them, villagers said.
For the record, on NPR* they reported those villages were 1/4 mile, and then an additional mile apart.
A single soldier, identified as an Army staff sergeant, had surrendered to authorities in connection with Sunday’s killings, according to U.S. officials, but village elders in the rural Panjwai district, the site of the slayings, told NPR that more than one American soldier was involved in attacks in separate hamlets.
“One was a quarter of a mile outside the American base and the other in a hamlet about a mile away,” NPR’s Quil Lawrence reports from Kabul. “In the first village, about 11 people died in one family, most of them young children in one house. Their bodies were apparently gathered up under some blankets, which were then set alight.”