Entries in Kandahar (16)


Murder Charges Against Alleged Kandahar Shooter Expected Friday

US Army(FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan.) -- Murder charges against Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales are expected to be filed Friday for his alleged shooting rampage almost two weeks ago that resulted in the deaths of 17 Afghan civilians.

A U.S. official confirms that Bales will be charged with 17 counts of murder, six counts of attempted murder, and six counts of aggravated assault, in addition to other violations of the U.S. Code of Military Justice.  All of the charges are related to the 17 deaths that allegedly resulted from Bales’ rampage.

The number of Afghans killed in the incident has been reported widely as 16, but criminal charges are expected to include 17 counts of murder.  U.S. officials said the updated number of casualties reflected either the death of one of the civilians initially wounded in the rampage, or new information gathered by Army investigators on the ground in Afghanistan.

Bales is accused of sneaking out of his remote combat outpost in the middle of the night and terrorizing two nearby villages, with Afghan civilians his apparent targets. Nine of the victims killed were children.

Bales, 38, was detained by fellow soldiers after he returned to his outpost.

John Henry Browne, Bales’ civilian attorney, said that during his initial meeting with his client, Bales did not have any recollection of the March 11 rampage.

Bales, who has a home in Washington state where his wife and children live, is now being held at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and though charges in his case will be announced by U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, U.S. officials say his court proceedings will be held in the United States.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Kandahar Shooting Suspect Flown to Kuwait

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The soldier accused of shooting 16 Afghan villagers this past weekend was flown out of Afghanistan on Wednesday evening to a U.S. detention facility in Kuwait.

Earlier Wednesday Pentagon officials had publicly confirmed that the unidentified soldier had been transferred out of Afghanistan, but refused to identify exactly where because of what one official described as “host nation sensitivities.”

A U.S. official confirms to ABC News that the soldier was flown to Kuwait, where he will be detained at an American detention facility.

The 38-year-old staff sergeant has yet to be charged in the shootings of the villagers that took place after he sneaked off his base in the middle of the night, targeting residents of two villages near his remote base in western Kandahar province.

Officials say the soldier will be identified once military prosecutors file charges.  The Army’s Criminal Investigative Command is conducting the investigation into the shooting rampage and will forward their results to the military chain of command.  Charges can be filed while the investigation continues.

Afghan political leaders have called for the shooter to be tried publicly in Afghan courts, but U.S. military officials say the case will be handled in U.S. military courts.  A U.S. military official says Afghan officials were made aware of the transfer before it occurred.

Whether that trial takes place in Afghanistan or the United States remains to be seen.

Appearing on the Fox News Channel earlier Wednesday, Captain John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said the move was made mainly because “inside Afghanistan we don’t have the proper detention facilities to detain U.S. personnel for any length of time.”  He added, “This is in accordance with our own regulations and policies to have him in a proper detention facility where he can continue to be interviewed and to be cared for appropriately. ”

American detention facilities in Kuwait have been used in the past to house American service members involved in high-profile cases.  In 2010, PFC Bradley Manning was kept in pre-trial confinement in Kuwait for three months after having been initially detained in Baghdad for allegedly leaking sensitive materials that later appeared on WikiLeaks.

In June 2010, Army Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs was also sent to a detention facility in Kuwait after being detained in Afghanistan for having organized a team of soldiers that killed three Afghan civilians for sport. Gibbs was convicted this past November in the deaths of the civilians.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Car Bomb Kills Kandahar Police Officers; Injures Dozens

Lance Cpl. Dexter S. Saulisbury/Released(KANDAHAR, Afghanistan) -- Afghan officials say at least seven people, including five police officers, were killed when a car bomb exploded outside police headquarters in the southern city of Kandahar on Sunday.

So far, there has been no claim of responsibility for the blast that has left nearly two dozen people injured. Many of the people injured are in critical condition, according to health officials in Kandahar.

The attack follows last month's bombing just outside the main NATO base in Kandahar, an attack claimed by the Taliban. Despite the addition of tens of thousands of NATO forces in southern  Afghanistan, Kandahar and the surrounding province remain of the most dangerous areas in the country.  

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Suicide Attackers Storm Afghanistan Police Station

MASSOUD HOSSAINI/AFP/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Several suicide attackers stormed a police station in district five of Kabul City on Friday, and a gun battle between the attackers and Afghan security forces immediately followed.

The gunmen escaped after the battle.

The police station is located on the outskirts of Kabul on a main highway linking Kabul to Kandahar.

The Kabul police chief has confirmed the incident but little is known about those who may have been injured or killed.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Kandahar Mayor Killed in Suicide Bombing

U.S. State Department(KANDAHAR, Afghanistan) -- The mayor of Kandahar, Afghanistan was killed in a suicide attack on Wednesday, just two weeks after President Hamid Karzai's half-brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, was assassinated.

Mayor Ghulam Haider Hamidi was meeting with elders at his residence in Kandahar city, when one of the elders approached him and detonated a bomb, which police say was hidden in his turban.

One other civilian was also killed during the attack.

Hamidi was considered a candidate to replace Wali Karzai -- who was shot and killed by a guard at his home on July 12 -- as the governor of Kandahar.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Four Dead After Suicide Attack at Kandahar Mosque  

Comstock/Thinkstock(KANDAHAR, Afghanistan) -- A suicide attacker Thursday targeted a mosque in Kandahar where people gathered to offer their condolences to Ahmad Wali Karzai, the assassinated head of the city's provincial council and half-brother to Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Four people were reportedly killed in the attack, including the head of the religious council of Kandahar.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Taliban Members Escape from Afghanistan Prison

ABC News(KANDAHAR, Afghanistan) -- An estimated 476 Taliban members reportedly managed to crawl their way to freedom from the main jail in Kandahar, Afghanistan on Monday morning.

The prison's warden said the prisoners used a long tunnel to make their way outside and that authorities discovered it only after the breakout from the political wing of the building.

The warden admitted he and others didn't know if the tunnel was dug from outside or inside the Sariposa prison, which is considered the largest facility in southern Afghanistan.

In a statement, the Taliban said that 541 prisoners had actually escaped and that more than 100 were commanders.

This is not the first time Taliban members have escaped from the facility. In 2008, the Taliban freed 1,200 people from the prison, about 350 of whom belonged to the group.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Afghanistan: Kandahar Police Chief Killed in Attack

ABC News(KANDAHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan) -- The police chief of Afghanistan’s Kandahar province was killed in a suicide attack Friday, local officials confirmed to ABC News.

Khan Mohammad Mujahid died and two others were wounded, when the bomber, wearing a police uniform, detonated his device at police headquarters.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Protests in Kandahar Leave At Least Nine Dead

ABC News(KANDAHAR, Afghanistan) -- Violent protests in Afghanistan flared for a second day Saturday, enflamed by outrage over the burning of a Koran by Florida pastor Terry Jones.

Nine protesters were killed Saturday in Kandahar, where hundreds marched holding copies of the Koran when security forces shot into the air to disperse the crowd.

Zalmai Ayubi, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said it is unclear how the protesters were killed.

Anger over Terry Jones' burning of the Koran began on Friday in the town of Mazar-i-Sharif, when 11 people were killed -- including seven United Nations workers -- at a United Nations compound.

Jones oversaw the burning of a Koran last month and told ABC News that he did not feel responsible for the protests.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Blasts Kill 8 at Kandahar Dogfight

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- At least eight civilians are dead after two bombs exploded during an illegal dogfight in the volatile Afghan province of Kandahar.

Five officers, who had arrived to break up the gathering, were also injured in the explosion.

Officials say villagers had gathered in the Arghandab district to watch the fight when two explosions tore through the crowd of spectators.

It is unclear whether civilians or security forces were the target of the attacks.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio