An Afghan youth on Mar 11 recounted the terrifying scene in his home as a lone US soldier moved stealthily through it during a killing spree, then crouched down and shot his father in the thigh as he stepped out of the bedroom. The soldier, now in US custody, is accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians in their homes in the middle of the night between Saturday and Sunday and then burning some of their corpses. Afghan President Hamid Karzai said nine of those killed were children and three were women.
“He was walking around taking up positions in the house - in two or three places like he was searching,” said 26-year-old witness Mohammad Zahir, who watched the gunman while hiding in another room. “He was on his knees when he shot my father” in the thigh, he said. His father was wounded but survived.
Even before the shootings, anti-Americanism was already boiling in Afghanistan over US troops burning Muslim holy books, including Qur’āns, last month on an American base. The burnings came to light soon after a video purporting to show four Marines urinating on Taleban corpses was posted on the Internet in January. Now, another wave of anti-foreigner hatred could threaten the entire future of the US-led coalition’s mission in Afghanistan.