The US military released video to Afghans today showing a single soldier surrendering after 16 civilians were shot dead in 2 villages on Sunday.
They didn’t release the video to media; it’s intended to quell rumors of a second shooter – or multiple shooters – involved, The Associated Press said.
“We are still receiving, reviewing and investigating all leads in connection with this terrible incident, but at this time everything still points to one shooter,” military representative Lt. Col. Jimmie Cummings told the AP.
The black-and-white video shows the man hiding his weapon beneath a traditional Afghan shawl. He throws up his hands in surrender before fellow soldiers lead him away.
A surveillance camera mounted to a blimp hovering above Camp Leatherneck recorded the footage.
The camera recorded as much as 3 hours of video during the time of the killings; however, the US said it was only able to release the surrender.
The soldier suspected of shooting the civilians – including 9 children – is a 38-year-old married father of 2, The New York Times reported.
The staff sergeant was stationed at Base Lewis-McChord at Tacoma, Wash., and served with the Third Stryker Brigade, Second Infantry Division.
The Army has not released his name, and he remains in custody.
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Wazir Mohammad – who lost 11 family members – said the soldier must be tried in Afghanistan, Reuters said.
“They have to be prosecuted here,” he said. "They have done two crimes against my family. One, they killed them; and, secondly, they burned them."
There are also rumors in Afghanistan of soldiers vowing revenge for an earlier roadside bomb attack.
One man from a nearby village not involved in the attacks said soldiers lined men against a wall, and threatened local children.
“It looked like they were going to shoot us, and I was very afraid," Ahmad Shah Khan told the AP. “Then a NATO soldier said through his translator that even our children will pay for this. Now they have done it and taken their revenge.”
Another man told Reuters similar accounts of US military threatening retaliation for an earlier attack.
“They asked people to come out of their homes and warned them they would avenge this,” cleric Neda Mohammad Akhond said.
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