Survivors Detail Kandahar Massacre

Wounded Still Wait on US to Follow Though on Promised Medical Aid

Its been over two months since the Kandahar massacre, in which a US soldier, apparently Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, attacked and killed a large number of Afghan civilians. The suspected attacker, who denies remembering anything about the night, is being held in the US awaiting charges, and the story has mostly quieted down.

But survivors of the attack are finally having their say, telling stories of the night a US soldier came to their villages, firing wildly and killing people, animals, anything that moves, seemingly at random.

One of the survivors, Naim, says he saw the soldier and heard the shooting and assumed it was just yet another US raid on the village. “He got closer, and then he started shooting at me,” he notes. One of the few adult survivors of the attack, Naim says he was interviewed by US investigators but never by Afghan investigators. The only Afghan official he ever spoke to was from the National Directorate of Security, the nation’s feared secret police. According to Naim the man accused him of planted IEDs.

The US paid some $50,0o0 in “blood money” to the family members of people who were killed that night, and promised advanced medical treatment for those wounded in the attack.

One of the victims,14 year-old Rafiaullah, was shot in the leg and woke up in an Afghan hospital after the massacre. His grandmother was killed. His sister was more severely wounded, and is partially paralyzed. The promised medical treatment has still not been provided.



Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.