Foreign Policy

Taliban Vows Revenge for Soldier Shooting Rampage

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

U.S. troops in Afghanistan are on high alert after the Taliban vowed revenge for the shooting rampage by an American soldier that left 16 civilians dead.

On Sunday a soldier left his base in Kandahar, went to several houses in a nearby village and opened fire inside. The dead included nine children and three women. He also set fire to some of the bodies.

The man's name has not been released. He is a 38-year-old Staff Sergeant out of the Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State. ABC News reports he is a married father of two and arrived in Afghanistan in December following three tours in Iraq.

He was assigned to support a special operations unit of either the Green Berets or the Navy SEALS.

U.S. officials believe he acted alone, despite claims from witnesses that they saw more than one soldier carrying out the attacks.

"There's no indication that there was more than one shooter," said military spokesman Lt. Col. Jimmie Cummings.

The New York Daily News reports that the Taliban called the attack a "blood-soaked and inhumane crime (by) sick minded American savages," vowing revenge "for every single martyr with the help of Allah.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said, "This is an assassination. When Afghan people are killed deliberately by U.S. forces, this action is murder and terror and an unforgivable action."

President Obama agreed, saying the U.S. would "get the facts as quickly as possible and to hold accountable anyone responsible."