Panetta: Keep Afghanistan Strategy on Track

In this March 11, 2012 photo, men stand next to blood stains and charred remains inside a home where witnesses say Afghans were killed by a U.S. soldier in Panjwai, Kandahar province south of Kabul, Afghanistan. (AP)

“We cannot allow these events to undermine our strategy,” Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta told reporters aboard a military aircraft Monday referring to the killing of 16 Afghan civilians reportedly by a lone U.S. Army sergeant.

“We were all deeply shocked and saddened,” the secretary said. Karen Parrish of the American Forces Press Service writes that Panetta reiterated what he told Afghan President Hamid Karzai during a telephone conversation yesterday, offering his “deepest condolences” to the families of those killed and wounded, to the villagers where the shootings happened, and to the Afghan people.

You can read Karen Parrish’s full article HERE.

Afghan Officials Fired Upon

In more recent news, CBS and the Associated Press report that a brother of the Afghan president was among the Afghan officials fired upon while visiting one of  shooting sites in the civilian killings.

CBS News correspondent Mandy Clark reports that at least one Afghan soldier was was killed in the attack, and there were reports of other injuries.

“We were giving them our condolences, then we heard two very, very light shots,” said Qayum Karzai. “Then we assumed that it was the national army that started to fire in the air.”

You can read the full CBS/AP story HERE.



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