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U.S. soldier detained after opening fire on Afghans

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Ernesto Londono and Javed Hamdard
Washington Post
March 11, 2012

KABUL — A U.S. soldier was taken into custody in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, a few hours after he opened fire on Afghan civilians, killing 10, U.S. and Afghan officials said.

The shooting took place at approximately 3 a.m. as a lone soldier walked off a checkpoint in Kandahar Province’s Panjwai district and opened fire on civilians in two villages, Javed Faisal, the director of the provincial government’s media center, said in a phone interview.

Citing preliminary reports, Faisal said at least 10 people were killed and five were wounded. Provincial authorities said they were awaiting news from an investigative team sent to the villages before releasing a definitive death toll.

It is highly unusual for American soldiers to wander alone off base. Officials did not immediately say whether they know what prompted the shooting.

“We strongly condemn this incident,” Zaimai Ayoubi, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said. “We have sent a delegation to investigate the scene.”

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This article was posted: Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 5:59 am

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