Thursday, March 22, 2012
Afghan authorities now support official U.S. story about Kandahar massacre
Just a few days ago Afghan investigators maintained that there were a number of U.S. soldiers involved in the Kandahar massacre. Here is a statement by a local Kandahar MP:“All the villagers that we talked to said there were 15 to 20 men who had conducted a night raid operation in several areas in the village,” He also noted that the villages attacked were each about 4 kilometers north and south of the base.
Now Afghan officials say that there has been no confirmation that multiple U.S. soldiers took part in the killing. A top official said: that ""nobody personally said that they had seen a group of troops in this incident. The evidence collected from the villagers was not enough to confirm that there was more than one shooter.” This contradicts the Afghan investigators own accounts and other reports of eyewitness accounts.
At least now there is agreement between the Afghans and U.S on the matter. However, the Afghan public in general may not be convinced of the lone shooter story no matter what officials may say.
No one has really explained the discrepancies in the different stories. There is other evidence also that supports the view that there could have been more than one soldier. First there is the distance that the two villages attacked are apart. Second there is the fact that a few days earlier U.S. soldiers had threatened the inhabitants of one of the villages,' For more see this article.
There are sharp differences within the Karzai administration as to how critical or how supportive the government should be of NATO and the U.S. Those urging more support and less criticism may have the upper hand at least on this issue. See this article.