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Afghan massacre families get US compensation

The US has paid $50,000 (€37,687) in compensation for each Afghan killed and $11,000 for each person wounded in the shooting spree allegedly committed by a US soldier in southern Afghanistan, an official and a community elder in the country said yesterday.

The sums are much larger than typical payments made by the US to families of civilians killed in military operations in Afghanistan.

Army staff sergeant Robert Bales is accused of sneaking off his base on Mar 11, then creeping into houses in two nearby villages and opening fire on families as they slept.

US investigators believe the gunman returned to his base after the first attack and later slipped away to kill again, US officials have said.

Bales has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and other crimes. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

That would seem to support the US government’s assertion the shooter acted alone, since the killings would have been perpetrated over a longer period of time than assumed when Bales was detained outside his base in the Panjwai district.

But it also raises new questions about how could he have carried out the attacks without drawing attention from any Americans on the base.

The families of the dead were told the funds came from US President Barack Obama, Kandahar provincial council member Agha Lalai said.


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