A member of the Kandahar provincial council says that at least seventeen civilians were killed as a result of the shooting spree. However the governor's puts the number killed at 15. Haji Samad an elder from the area said:"Eleven members of my family are dead. They are all dead," Haji Samad, an elder from Panjwai district.

A spokesperson for the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) Captain Brockhoff could not confirm that anyone was killed. This cautiousness about such issues often makes authorities seem foolish or completely out of touch with reality. He did say however:"This is a horrific incident, and our thoughts are with the families of the affected. Our initial reports indicate multiple civilians - between four and six- are wounded. Those civilians are receiving care at coalition medical facilities,"

Bernard Smith an Al Jazeera reporter said: "We are now being told by the police sources that the US soldier left his base at three o clock this morning. It would have been pitch-black wherever he walked," "The soldier went through three separate houses, shooting at people as they slept in their beds.""The soldier then returned to his base and turned himself in. One wonders why a soldier would be allowed out of the base at 3 AM to wander off by himself and obviously armed as well.

Some reports say that the soldier suffered a nervous breakdown before the incident. So a person suffering a nervous breakdown is allowed out of the base at 3 AM and armed into the bargain.The soldier will be held in U.S. custody. The Afghan authorities will probably have nothing to do with any trial or punishment since U.S. troops are not subject to Afghan law.

There is already a huge surge in opposition to NATO forces after the recent burning of copies of the Koran. There has been strong opposition as well to night raids that often kill civilians. This latest incident will make things worse.

Forty one people have already been killed since the Koran burning. I imagine similar violent protests will follow this event.

Najeeb Azizi an analyst in Kabul said::"It is a very tragic incident in particular because the Afghan and US governments are trying to sign a strategic agreement for a long term," Everyone seems to have forgotten that the U.S. far from getting out entirely from Afghanistan in 2014 is trying to negotiate a long term stay in the country. For more see this Al Jazeera article. The event is also covered here by Reuters. in the BBC.



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