A video of the U.S. soldier who allegedly murdered 16 Afghan civilians in a rampage over the weekend was released to Afghan investigators.
According to the Associated Press, the video shows the soldier walking up to the U.S. military base where he was stationed. The soldier then lays his weapon covered in a shawl and raises his arms in surrender.
Since the shootings, many people in the community have said that more than one soldier was involved in the massacre. In fact, member of the Afghan parliament Sayeed Ishaq Gilani said that villagers saw up to 15 soldiers at the scene during the shootings.
To ensure that it was only one solider involved, the U.S. military released the footage. U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta visited Afghanistan today and said this about the act:
“As tragic as these acts of violence have been, they do not define the relationship between the coalition and Afghan forces, and the Afghan people. We will be tested, we will be challenged. We’ll be challenged by our enemy, we’ll be challenged by ourselves, we’ll be challenged by the hell of war.”
Despite contempt of American soldiers by many in the Afghan government, Afghanistan’s Secretary Defense showed approval of the United State’s efforts saying:
“I mean the stakes are much higher than this incident, which we have all have condemned, and I think we are assured that the U.S. authority will take appropriate action.”
Many Afghans are not so willing to move forward and have demanded that the soldier receive capital punishment. In response to this incident, protestors held an effigy of President Obama, along with a cross, last Tuesday.
President Obama has continually tried to ease the tension that has erupted out of this, explaining that he was “heartbroken” due to the killing and saying that he takes the case “as seriously as if it was our own citizens, and our children, who were murdered.”
The soldier, who has yet to be named, is being held in Kandahar, Afghanistan by the U.S. military. Secretary of Defense Panetta said that he could face capital punishment.