Soldier investigated for Afghan killings reportedly suffered brain injury

The bodies of Afghan civilians allegedly shot by a rogue U.S. soldier are pictured in the back of a van in Alkozai village of Panjwayi district, Kandahar province.

While the U.S. military is not identifying the American soldier being investigated in the gunning down of 16 villagers in Afghanistan until charges are filed, military officials say the man had suffered a traumatic brain injury.

The soldier, who is accused of killing the villagers — including nine children and three women — is a trained sniper from Fort Lewis, Washington, according to the Daily Mail. The soldier has been in the Army for 11 years, serving three tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.

A military official said the brain injury might have been caused by a car accident or from hitting his head on the hatch of a vehicle. He took and passed a mental health screening in 2008. The staff sergeant is married with children, but may have been going through marital problems when he opened fire in the homes of three Afghan families.

Officials say the soldier left his base in Kandahar at 3 a.m. wearing night-vision goggles. That’s when, they say, he entered the three homes and began shooting. Family members of the victims claim the soldier also poured chemicals over their corpses before setting them on fire. He then turned himself in at his base. He is now in pretrial confinement as Army officials investigate.

“He was walking around taking up positions in the house — in two or three places like he was searching,” said Mohammad Zahir, a 26-year-old villager who said the soldier wounded his father. “He was on his knees when he shot my father in the thigh.”

The incident has sparked outrage as Afghans call for the immediate removal of American troops in Afghanistan. The Taliban claims more than one soldier is responsible and has vowed revenge, calling the killings “blood-soaked and inhumane crime” by “sick-minded American savages” on its website.

U.S. officials say their exit strategy will not be affected by the killings.

“The focus of our overall strategy is not in reaction to a single event,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.

“I do not believe that this incident will change the timetable of a strategy that was designed and is being implemented in a way to allow for the withdrawal of U.S. forces, to allow for the transfer of lead security authority over to the Afghans,” Carney said.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.