Child witnesses to the massacre of 17 Afghan civilians by Staff Sgt. Robert Bales say there was more than one U.S. soldier party to the crime, contradicting the story told by the Pentagon.
Yalda Hakim, a journalist for SBS Dateline in Australia, was born in Afghanistan and immigrated to Australia as a child. She is the first international journalist to interview the surviving witnesses, which she was able to do after American officials tried to prevent her contact with the village witnesses.
An 8-year old Afghan girl named Noorbinak, according to the MSNBC, “told Hakim that the shooter first shot her father’s dog. Then, Noorbinak said in the video, he shot her father in the foot and dragged her mother by the hair. When her father started screaming, he shot her father, the child says. Then he turned the gun on Noorbinak and shot her in the leg.”
“One man entered the room and the others were standing in the yard, holding lights,” Noorbinak said in the interview.
A brother of one of the victims said the children who witnessed saw many soldiers. “They don’t know whether there were 15 or 20, however many there were,” he said in the interview.
Army officials have repeatedly denied that others were involved in the massacre, maintaining that Bales acted alone.