Afghan shootings: US soldier suspect flown out
Published: 14th Mar 2012 23:39:01
The American soldier accused of killing 16 civilians in Afghanistan on Sunday has been flown out of the country.
Officials say legal proceedings against the unnamed staff sergeant will now be conducted in another country. It is not clear where he has been taken.
The victims were shot in their homes, causing outrage across Afghanistan.
The transfer coincides with a visit by US defence secretary Leon Panetta. His arrival in Afghanistan was marred by an incident involving a vehicle.
A stolen pick-up truck was driven at high speed onto the runway where Mr Panetta's plane was intended to stop at the British base in Helmand province, Camp Bastion.
The vehicle ended crashing into a ditch and bursting into flames. The Afghan driver suffered burns and has been arrested.
A Nato serviceman was injured when the vehicle was stolen. Neither Mr Panetta nor anyone on board the plane was at risk at any time, officials said.
The defence secretary was in Helmand to address US troops, as fears mount that they could be the target of a backlash against foreign forces.
He has since left the province for the capital, Kabul.
His visit comes amid growing anger in Afghanistan over the role of foreign forces - especially the killing of civilians.
The staff sergeant, who has not been named or charged, allegedly left his base in southern Afghanistan before dawn on Sunday, entered several houses in a village and shot men, women and children at close range.
The soldier was held by the US military in Kandahar until Wednesday evening, when he was flown out of the country "based on legal recommendation", Pentagon spokesman Capt John Kirby said.
"We do not have appropriate detention facilities in Afghanistan," Capt Kirby said.
Members of the Afghan parliament had demanded that he should be put on trial in their country.
But the BBC's Paul Adams in Washington says this was never going to happen. The US has always insisted that charges of wrongdoing by its soldiers be dealt with within the American military legal system.
US officials say the soldier handed himself in. Mr Panetta has said that if found guilty, he could face the death penalty.
Officials said the soldier had completed several tours in Iraq but was on his first tour of duty in Afghanistan.
The Taliban have promised revenge attacks.
Nato and the US administration have insisted that there will be no change of strategy in Afghanistan.
Nato's International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) plans to withdraw all of its combat forces by the end of 2014. American troops are also following that timetable.
At 06:32:57 in EnglandAs the Easter Bank Holiday gets under way, many people may be contemplating a trip to their local zoo. This is generally accepted as a safe, family-friendly activity but in fact, escapes by wild animals are not unheard of.
At 06:10:45 in HeadlinesA Chinese court has jailed four activists linked to the New Citizens' Movement, which campaigns for government transparency.
At 05:51:03 in HeadlinesFemale insects with "penises" have been discovered in Brazil - the first example of an animal with sex-reversed genitalia, scientists say.
At 05:46:25 in HeadlinesHelicopters have been dispatched to Mount Everest after an early morning avalanche, with climbers feared buried.
At 05:44:39 in HeadlinesChannel Tunnel rail services are due to return to normal today after being hit by severe disruption on Thursday.
At 05:40:21 in HeadlinesCalls for stricter assessments of foreign-trained doctors feature on some front pages, after a study suggested that many lacked the necessary skills to work in the UK.
At 05:10:29 in HeadlinesUS President Barack Obama has cautiously welcomed a deal to calm tensions in Ukraine, reached at multi-party talks in Geneva.
At 04:57:17 in SportFerrari's Fernando Alonso welcomed his new team principal to Formula 1 by setting the pace in first practice at the Chinese Grand Prix.
At 04:56:27 in HeadlinesThe third officer was at the helm of the ferry that capsized off South Korea, investigators said, as divers worked to access the sunken hull.
At 04:50:38 in PoliticsA group backing small-scale farmers has urged ministers to commit to policies that would give them better support.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Afghan shootings: US soldier suspect flown out [Online] (Updated 14th Mar 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1416480/Afghan-shootings-US-soldier-suspect-flown-out [Accessed 18th Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
How do you tell the world about your remote-controlled flying fish toys?
Actor Martin Freeman, best known for The Office and Sherlock, talks to BBC News about his chilly new role in a TV version of Fargo and preparing to play Richard III in London's West End.
Thousands of people are expected to flock to Scottish Ballet's production of Romeo and Juliet when it starts its run at the King's Theatre in Glasgow on Saturday.
Children who are bullied can still experience negative effects on their physical and mental health more than 40 years later, say researchers from King's College London.
A group backing small-scale farmers has urged ministers to commit to policies that would give them better support.
Barnes & Noble's chairman has trimmed his stake in the bookstore to 20%, by selling shares worth $64m (£38m).