Army Sergeant Expected to Face 17 Murder Charges

n this Aug. 23, 2011 Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System photo, Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, right, participates in an exercise at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif. (AP Photo/DVIDS, Spc. Ryan Hallock)

The Associated Press is reporting that Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales is expected to be charged with 17 counts of murder on Friday over the killings in a shooting rampage in southern Afghanistan.

A US official confirmed the murder charges on condition of anonymity and said Bales, 38, would also be charged with six counts of assault and attempted murder.

Bales allegedly walked off his base in the southern province of Kandahar under cover of darkness March 11 and killed 17 people in two nearby villages, including at least nine children and three women.

He then allegedly burned some of their bodies, returned to his base and surrendered.

The charges raise by one the number of deaths reported immediately after the atrocity, but spokesmen for NATO’s US-led international force in Kabul said they could not yet give details of the 17th death.

You can read the full AP article HERE.

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