US soldier on SEAL team shoots dead nine sleeping Afghan children before burning their bodies in deadly rampage that killed 16
Shooter identified as Army staff sergeant from Fort Lewis, Washington, a married father of three
Base regarded as ‘most troubled in the military,’ that housed soldiers involved in Afghan ‘thrill killings’ case in 2010
Assigned to support a special operations unit of either Green Berets or Navy SEALs
He allegedly went into three homes early this morning and shot dead 16 people after ‘suffering mental breakdown’
Nine children and three women among those reported dead
- Relative said he ‘poured chemicals over their dead bodies and burned them’
- Afghan President Karzai condemned shootings as ‘assassination’
President Obama called attack ‘tragic’ and ‘shocking’
- Attack could deepen strife and comes weeks after outrage over Koran burning at NATO base left at least 30 dead
- Afghan Taliban says in email they are likely to retaliate
Sixteen innocent Afghan civilians – including nine children and three women – were shot and killed by a rogue U.S. soldier who opened fire after suffering a ‘mental breakdown’ early this morning.
The Army staff sergeant, who was stationed at a U.S. base in Kandahar, reportedly entered three Afghan family’s homes at about 3am Sunday morning and began the killing spree.
A relative of the deceased added that he then ‘poured chemicals over their dead bodies and burned them.’
The shooter was identified by U.S. officials as an Army staff sergeant from Fort Lewis in Washington state, and was believed to have acted alone.
Scroll down for videos WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
Disbelief: Two grief-stricken Afghan men look into the van where the body of a badly burned child lays, wrapped in a blue blanket
READ MORE AND VIEW ALL PHOTOS: