Source Al Jazeera and LA Times
Two U.S officials stated that an Army staff sergeant who allegedly gunned down civilians in southern Afghanistan this month will be charged Friday with 17 counts of murder.
Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, 38, was on his fourth combat deployment when the killings occurred. He is also likely to be charged with six counts of attempted murder and assault, one of the officials said.
Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the charges had not been made public.
Many details of the attack, one of the worst civilian casualty incidents in the decade-old war, have not been disclosed.
In the days following the rogue US soldier’s shooting spree in Kandahar, most of the media, focused on the “backlash” and how it might further strain the relations with the U.S.
Many mainstream media outlets channelled a significant amount of energy into uncovering the slightest detail about the accused soldier We even know where his wife wanted to go for vacation, or what she said on her personal blog.
But the victims became a footnote, an anonymous footnote. Just the number 17. No one bothered to ask their ages, their hobbies, their aspirations. Worst of all, no one bothered to ask their names.
In honoring their memory, I write their names below, and the little we know about them: that nine of them were children, three were women.
Mohamed Dawood son of Abdullah
Khudaydad son of Mohamed Juma
Shatarina daughter of Sultan Mohamed
Zahra daughter of Abdul Hamid
Nazia daughter of Dost Mohamed
Masooma daughter of Mohamed Wazir
Farida daughter of Mohamed Wazir
Palwasha daughter of Mohamed Wazir
Nabia daughter of Mohamed Wazir
Esmatullah daughter of Mohamed Wazir
Faizullah son of Mohamed Wazir
Essa Mohamed son of Mohamed Hussain
Akhtar Mohamed son of Murrad Ali
Haji Mohamed Naim son of Haji Sakhawat
Mohamed Sediq son of Mohamed Naim
They did not deserve to die, this is yet another example of this horrific and disgusting war. We sometimes need to make a little effort to recognize the plight of the victims who are caught up in the violence. It's all well and good to keep cheering on soldiers, but there have been many acts of barbarism and cruelty committed by both sides. Please do not turn a blind eye to this kind of tragedy. These victims and their families also deserve our respect and condolences,
May their souls rest in peace.
I hope one day we will also shame the perpretators of the seemingly endless acts of terror in Northern Nigeria AS WELL AS name the victims of the vicious Boko Haram sect!