US military to arraign soldier accused of Afghan massacre

January 17, 2013 13:11

SEATTLE - A US soldier accused of killing 16 villagers in Afghanistan is due to be arraigned on Thursday on charges of premeditated murder, for which military prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Robert Bales, a veteran of four combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, is accused of gunning down the villagers - mostly women and children - in their homes in two villages in Afghanistan's Kandahar province.

The shootings occurred over a five-hour period in March. It was one of the deadliest incidents the military has blamed on a rogue US soldier since the Vietnam War and strained US-Afghan relations.

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