A villager points to a spot where a family was shot in their residence by a US soldier in Alkozai village of Panjwayi district, Kandahar Province on March 11, 2012.
The US trooper who shot dead 16 Afghan civilians has been taken to Kuwait in defiance of calls from Afghan people and officials for his trial in Afghanistan.
A US defense official speaking on the condition of anonymity said on Wednesday that the suspect was transferred due to America’s shortage of “military legal infrastructure” and personnel in Afghanistan, CNN reported.
The official added that the US soldier would remain in a military detention center in Kuwait until an investigation into the incident is completed.
Afghan lawmakers had earlier called for the perpetrator of the “brutal and inhumane” massacre to be put to trial in Afghanistan.
“We seriously demand and expect that the government of the United States punish the culprits and try them in a public trial before the people of Afghanistan,” the lawmakers said in a statement a day after the killings took place.
On Sunday, the US soldier opened fire on Afghan civilians inside their homes in the district of Panjwaii in the southern province of Kandahar, killing 16 of them and injuring several others.
According to a fact-finding mission set up by the Afghan parliament, however, at least 20 US soldiers were involved in the killing.
According to the head of the mission, after probing the circumstances and speaking to witnesses and locals, it was concluded that the crime could not have been committed by a single soldier.
This is while the US military insists that only one soldier was involved in the massacre.
The latest string of incidents has further strained relations between Washington and Kabul.
Anti-American sentiments in Afghanistan have also risen due to the desecration of the Holy Qur’an in a US-run military air base last month.