Report says soldier conducted massacre during two trips out of base

According to an Afghan guard at the base who spoke to the BBC, the soldier who conducted a massacre outside Kandahar last night, left his base twice, returning for an hour and a half after the first stage in his killing spree only to head out again for another two hours.

An official told ABC News that the soldier has suffered a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the past, either from hitting his head on the hatch of a vehicle or in a car accident. He went through the advanced TBI treatment at Fort Lewis and was deemed to be fine.

He also underwent mental health screening necessary to become a sniper and passed in 2008. He had routine behavioral health screening after that and was cleared, the official said.

When the soldier returned from his last deployment in Iraq he had difficulty reintegrating, including marital problems, the source told ABC News. But officials concluded that he had worked through those issues before deploying to Afghanistan.

The shooting occurred at 3 a.m. in three houses in two villages in the Panjway district of southern Kandahar province, an area that was once a Taliban safe haven but has recently become more safe after a surge of troops in 2009.

The soldier left the base in the middle of the night and wore night-vision goggles during the alleged rampage, according to a source.

The first village was more than a mile south of the base. While there, he allegedly killed four people in the first house. In the second house, he allegedly killed 11 family members — four girls, four boys and three adults.

He then walked back to another village past his base where he allegedly killed one more person, according to a member of the Afghan investigation team and ABC News’ interviews with villagers.

BBC News reports: Initial reports said that the soldier simply walked to the villages, which were located about 500 (546 yds) from the military base in Panjwai district.

But local journalists say that the villages of Najeeban and Alkozai are about 5-7km (3-4 miles) apart. This immediately raises questions about accounts which said he completed his deadly circuit on foot.

An Afghan guard at the Nato base told the BBC that the soldier left the base twice. He returned at 00:30 local time (20:00 GMT) after the first trip out and was out between 02:00 and 04:00 for the second trip.

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2 thoughts on “Report says soldier conducted massacre during two trips out of base

  1. examinator

    I think that the problem with the way the media reports issues that are devoid of context focusing more on the New(s) aka the sensational, actual adds to the problems in that it entrenches the conformational thinking.
    Specifically this incident. While it is truly appalling what isn’t generally covered it the core issues.
    This is the ABC’s Late line ‘story’ i.e. interview and not to put too finer point on the topic it gives more insight to the real contextual cross cultural issues of the ‘Coalition’s’ war in Afghanistan than anything I’ve seen. I’ve trawled the world net today to compare responses and frankly they could have all been written in the same room save this one.
    Having been raised as part of Australia’s short lived colonial system (PNG) alongside thier deeply tribal cultures it I couldn’t agree more with the prince here.
    We have forgotten the lesson of the Romans in that they used the EXISTING indigenous structures albeit in an overly dominated way. Their objective was to dominate, surely ours is it solve a problem of terrorists?
    MY POINT IS that we in the west charge in assuming some messianic crusade destroying what exists and leaves the society in limbo shaking their heads why it is such a mess.
    The USA and it’s military asserted ‘exceptionalism’ (read our interests take precedence over everyone elses and OUR SYSTEM is the best, so why aren’t they grateful?) is at fault.
    Their soldiers go there full of the above expectations and when they’re clearly not shared the inevitable US and THEM explodes in incidents like the burning of the Korans and this Sgt . not to mention the ‘rogue’ Afghani (?) soldiers.
    Opening up a hole for the Taliban to triumphantly march through.
    One has to ask where was the USA military supervision given he was going through a ‘breakdown’?
    A soldier with weapon wanders off ? twice? What happened to pickets.

  2. Tom Hall

    The ABC News item informs us that the unnamed soldier underwent “mental health screening necessary to be come a sniper”. This sort of assurance is reminiscent of a comment made at a Washington-area shooting range during the DC sniper rampage. The speaker was himself an ex-sniper and felt compelled to rebuke the unknown assailant for bringing disrepute on “our community”. The context made it clear that he was defending the professional reputations of men who lie in concealment waiting to shoot down unsuspecting passersby from a very safe distance. That’s right- the Sniper Community.

    Think about what snipers do. Now remember what invading soldiers do- to people, their homes and property. Consider the outlook and attitudes that support and sustain such ventures. Then try to square all that with the notion of mental health.

    By the way, the massacre occurred in the early hours of Sunday. It is now midday on Wednesday. Still no announcement has been made identifying the soldier, about whom much information has been released. We know his service history and something of his personal difficulties. Yet no media outlet seems interested in ascertaining a fact as elementary as the man’s name, or where he has been taken. How long will this silence continue? Why the collusion?

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