March 22nd, 2012
06:44 PM ET

Bales to be charged with 17 counts of murder

From Pentagon Producer Larry Shaughnessy

Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales will be charged with 17 counts of murder and six counts of assault and attempted murder related to a March 11 shooting spree in Afghanistan, a senior U.S. official said Thursday.

The charges are expected to be announced Friday. The official could not explain why the count is now 17,when 16 have been reported killed in the incident.

Bales was flown out of Afghanistan last week and is being held at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Afghans are insisting that the suspect be returned to Afghanistan to face trial, even as villagers and lawmakers question the U.S. military's account of what happened.  But an official said in Afghanistan on Sunday that Bales will be tried in the United States.

The rampage has strained already-tense U.S.-Afghan relations and intensified a debate about whether to pull American troops ahead of their planned 2014 withdrawal. Afghan President Hamid Karzai demanded that troops withdraw from villages and return to their bases.  He said relations between the two countries were "at the end of their rope."

soundoff (4 Responses)

    when will all this unnecessary killings stop?

    March 23, 2012 at 5:14 am | Reply
  2. mipolitic

    no matter what games are played out here the military will end this as quickly as possible which will result in a just execution.

    March 22, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Reply
    • F B M

      I doubt he'll be executed. I'll be surprised if he gets more than 20-25 yrs. I'll be even more surprised if he's not out in 7-10. His time, whatever the length, won't be 'hard'.

      I know you remember William Calley.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Reply

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