March 26th, 2012
05:30 PM ET

Source: Bales talked to troops before he went to second village

By Barbara Starr

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who is suspected in the shooting deaths this month of 17 Afghans, sneaked off his remote outpost twice during his alleged 90-minute rampage in two Afghan villages, two senior U.S. officials told CNN Monday.

The officials said that, after the March 11 shootings in one village in Kandahar province, Bales sneaked back onto his base. They said Bales was seen at that point by fellow troops.

One official said investigators believe Bales told other soldiers he had just killed military-aged Afghan men. The officials said they did not know whether those troops told anyone else.

Then Bales sneaked out again and headed to the second village; he was apprehended by a search party as he attempted to re-enter the combat outpost the second time, the officials said.

Before this account, an Afghan guard was believed to have been the sole person who saw Bales that night. The guard alerted the U.S. troops on base.

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    Afghan
    guard was believed to have been
    the sole person who saw Bales
    that night.

    March 27, 2012 at 2:35 am | Reply

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