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article imageUS Sgt. Robert Bales pleads guilty to Afghan civilian massacre

By Phyllis Smith Asinyanbi     Jun 6, 2013 in World
Tacoma - U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, 39, pleaded guilty, in a military court Wednesday to the murder of 16 Afghan civilians. He said there is “not a good reason in the world” for why he did it.
Haji Barani, the brother of Mohammad Daud, who was slain in the massacre said:
"We do not accept Americans' law. We request (the) Afghanistan and American governments to sentence to death this murderer. If the American judiciary system gives him a life sentence for these murders, and lets him free in a couple of years, then we will do anything we could, even fight with American soldiers and kill them here in Afghanistan,” according to CBSnews.com.
On March 11, 2012, Bales went on a solo killing spree in two Afghanistan villages and massacred 16 people—mostly women and children. The plea deal will spare him from execution.
He left his remote base, at Camp Belambay, and went to a family compound in Kandahar province, armed with an M4 military assault rifle and a 9 mm handgun.
Reportedly he gave details on each of the 16 killings in an emotionless voice.
After entering one of the compounds, in the village of Alkozai, a struggle ensued with an older women. After this, Bales said he formed intent in his mind to kill anyone else he encountered.
When asked if the woman was armed, his response was “No.”
After confessing to each murder, CBS news reports, Bales said, “This act was without legal justification.”
The sergeant confessed to all 16 murders and stated in between the two separate compound attacks, he returned to his base, woke up a fellow soldier and told him about the first attack.
The soldier didn't believe him and fell back asleep. Bales then went to a second village, in Najiban, and commenced another massacre.
Some of the bodies were burned after the murders, and Bales remembers a kerosene lamp in one of the compounds and also recalls having matches in his pocket, but says he has no recollection of setting the compounds on fire.
After viewing pictures of the crime scene, he did not dispute the accusation, admitting it seemed logical.
In Nov. 2012, Zardana, now 8, testified as to what the shooter was wearing. She was shot in the head during the attack and after two months at a military hospital in Afghanistan and three more months at a Navy hospital in San Diego, can walk and talk again.
On the night of the killings, Bales was drinking contraband alcohol and snorting Valium, given to him by fellow soldiers.
This was his fourth deployment in Afghanistan, and his attorney, John Henry Browne, said he was suffering from PTSD and should never have been deployed.
Browne says Bales wants to apologize to the Afghan people and is concerned about backlash against soldiers deployed in Afghanistan.
Bales is the father of two and joined the military in 2001.
A jury will decide in August if the life sentence will include the possibility of parole. If parole is permissible, he could serve as few as 10 years.
More about Sgt Robert Bales, Afghanistan, Massacre, Civilians, Kandahar province
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