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Pentagon Disputes Bales' Account of Friend Being Wounded, Losing Leg

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Ralph Lopez     Permalink
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    "The soldiers called all the people to come out of their houses and from the mosque," he said.

    "The Americans told the villagers, 'A bomb exploded on our vehicle. ... We will get revenge for this incident by killing at least 20 of your people,""

Reports of Afghan officials disputing claims of multiple shooters focus mainly on two officials: the governor of the province, and a police chief.  The provincial governor told AP on March 21: "I personally met many different people there, but I never found a single person who personally saw a number of foreign troops."

  The March 21 AP report says of the police chief:

"Sardar Mohammad Nazari, chief of police for Panjwai district, also said that he never found one person who had seen a group of foreign troops with their own eyes.  U.S. officials launched a search party after the alleged shooter, Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, went missing, and the Afghans could have confused the searchers for assailants."

Echoing this theme McClatchy said on April 11:

"Dutch journalist Bette Dam, who spent a week in Kandahar investigating the killings, told McClatchy that "most of these accounts were coming from people who weren't actually there or from people who were in the area but didn't actually see the attack."

But on March 29, MSNBC broadcast an interview by a western reporter of several eyewitnesses, including children, who referred repeatedly to multiple shooters with flashlights on their helmets, and weapon lights (night raid flashlights which clip to the end of rifle barrels): 

""the children told [Yalda Hakim, a journalist for SBS Dateline in Australia] that other Americans were present during the rampage, holding flashlights in the yard.

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Noorbinak, 8, told Hakim that the shooter first shot her father's dog. Then, Noorbinak said in the video, he shot her father in the foot and dragged her mother by the hair. When her father started screaming, he shot her father, the child says. Then he turned the gun on Noorbinak and shot her in the leg.

"One man entered the room and the others were standing in the yard, holding lights," Noorbinak said in the video.

A brother of one victim told Hakim that his brother's children mentioned more than one soldier wearing a headlamp. They also had lights at the end of their guns, he said.

"They don't know whether there were 15 or 20, however many there were," he said in the video.

Army officials have repeatedly denied that others were involved in the massacre, emphasizing that Bales acted alone."

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In a CNN video, one man says: "They took him my uncle out of the room and shot him...They came to this room and martyred all the children."

Other witnesses pointed out a place outside the home, where they said they found footprints of more than one U.S. soldier.

The Global Post, (a project of long-time Boston Globe journalist Charles Sennott,) reached an eyewitness by telephone and reported:

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Ralph Lopez majored in Economics and Political Science at Yale University. He writes for Truth Out, Alternet, Consortium News, Op-Ed News, and other Internet media. He reported from Afghanistan in 2009 and produced a short documentary film on the (more...)

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