UK

US Soldier Kills 16 Civilians In Afghanistan

03/11/2012 01:04 pm 13:04:54 | Updated 11 May 2012

A US soldier in Afghanistan has gone on the rampage, killing at least 16 civilians, according to reports.

The incident happened in the village of Belandi in the Panjway district of Kandahar province, in the south of the country. The soldier is reported to have been detained.

Nine children are thought to be among the dead - reportedly all shot inside a single house.

"It was a shooting incident involving multiple civilians wounded," US military spokesman, Captain Justin Brockhoff, told Reuters.

NATO said it was a "deeply regrettable incident", which it was investigating.

"We extend our thoughts and concerns to the families involved," said a NATO spokesperson.

The region where the atrocity took place is a former Taliban stronghold, but was captured by US forces during the surge in troops in the country ordered by Barack Obama in 2009.

The deteriorating security situation led to the British embassy removing all non-essential staff from its offices in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Sky News quotes the US embassy in Kabul as saying: "We deplore any attack by a member of the US armed forces against innocent civilians, and denounce all violence against civilians.

"We assure the people of Afghanistan that the individual or individuals responsible for this act will be identified and brought to justice."

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