Rogue troop: US promises full probe

2012-03-11 19:51

Washington - The US commander of the Nato-led force in Afghanistan vowed Sunday to hold "fully accountable" anyone found responsible for a killing spree by a US soldier that claimed 16 lives.

"I am absolutely dedicated to making sure that anyone who is found to have committed wrong-doing is held fully accountable," General John Allen, the commander of the international security assistance force, said.

Allen said he was "shocked and saddened" by the incident, which erupted early on Sunday when a US soldier walked out of his base in the southern Kandahar province and opened fire on men, women and children.

An AFP reporter at the scene counted the bodies of 16 people after the shooting rampage.

ISAF said a soldier had been arrested in connection with the incident, but did not say how many people were killed or wounded.

US-Afghan tensions had already plunged to a new low last month when the discovery was made that US troops on a work detail had burned Qu'rans during deadly riots.

"I offer my profound regret and deepest condolences to the victims and their families. I pledge to all the noble people of Afghanistan my commitment to a rapid and thorough investigation," Allen said.

"In the meantime, we will continue to offer medical care for those who were injured in this shooting.

"We will maintain custody of the US service member alleged to have perpetrated this attack.  And we will co-operate fully with local Afghan authorities as we ascertain all the facts," he said.

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