US soldier opens fire on Afghan civilians: Casualties reported

A US soldier has allegedly killed a number of civilians after opening fire on them close to a US military base in Kandahar. Women and children have been reported among the victims.

A provincial official who spoke to the press on condition of anonymity said that more than 10 civilians were killed in the Panjawayi district of Kandahar early Sunday morning.

Reports of the incident are still materializing. An inhabitant of the Panjwai district of Kandahar told the New York Times that the US soldier broke into three houses,

“killing four civilians and injuring six other civilians, including women and children.”

He said that the soldier acted alone and there was no fighting, adding that one of the houses raided belonged to a tribal elder.

The serviceman allegedly handed himself in to US authorities following the incident. The motive behind the attack remains unclear.

NATO forces spokesman Capt. Justin Brockhoff has confirmed the US serviceman has been detained and is currently being held at a military base pending a joint US-Afghan investigation into the

“deeply regrettable incident.”

Brockhoff said those wounded in the incident were receiving treatment at a NATO medical facility.

Friction has been building between the allied forces and Afghan government after US soldiers burned copies of the Koran triggering uproar throughout the country last month.

The ensuing protests killed 30 people, including six American soldiers.

US President Obama made a formal apology to the people of Afghanistan for what NATO dubbed a

“tragic blunder.”

NATO pulled out all of its advisors from Afghan government organizations after two US officers were shot dead by an Afghan colleague.

Violence between the two allied forces has been on the up recently with 18 per cent of the 60 NATO personnel deaths this year thought to be the work of Afghan compatriots.

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