March 28th, 2012
06:06 PM ET

Grieving survivors describe Afghan massacre

Reporter Yalda Hakim of Australia’s SBS network has become the first western journalist to visit the villages where a U.S. soldier allegedly killed 17 people.

In a remarkable report she talks with some of the survivors and some Afghan guards on duty at the military camp from where Staff Sgt. Robert Bales left on his alleged killing spree.

The video at the top of this story is Hakim’s account of her journey to the remote villages near Kandahar and what she was told.

Bales is now held at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas and has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.

The events of that March night in a rural area some 20 kilometers from Kandahar are being investigated by both the U.S. military and Afghan authorities.

But much remains unknown.

Many Afghans, including some of the survivors that night, believe more than one U.S. soldier was present in the two villages where the killings took place. Others speak of seeing a single American soldier leaving Camp Belambai that night.

The U.S. military says there is no evidence that more than one man was involved in the shootings. Bales has not entered a plea.

The killings made headlines around the world.

Here CNN correspondent Sara Sidner explains her thoughts on the massacre victims.

She argued that part of the problem was the risk of traveling around Afghanistan and the lack of communications in remote villages.

But she said it was her impression as a journalist, reader and citizen that victims of tragedies in developing nations are not given anywhere near the same coverage or attention as victims in developed nations by the international press.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • U.S. Army • War • World
soundoff (331 Responses)
  1. Syed Owais Mukhtar

    Actually the soldiers in Afghanistan are not became Psycho patient, they need mental treatment, or they should leave Afghanistan!

    March 31, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  2. sjhagman

    Reblogged this on quasi-liberalism and commented:
    I wanted to share this video that a professor showed one of my classes. CNN International aired an interview done by the first (and as far as I know only) Western journalist to visit the Afghan village where Robert Bales killed 17 people. The media reported that he acted alone, a sentiment President Obama also shared. But after talking to the witnesses, the journalist finds that there may have been more American soldiers involved. It's important to always consider the other side, so here's a look.

    April 3, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  3. justice

    Those small poor victims DID NOT HAVE ANYTHING to do with 9/11. Stop supporting a terriristic action just because of another terroristic action!

    April 6, 2012 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
  4. Muneef

    Navy Hero Seal Sharpshooter Snipper Chris Kyle
    Killing over 260 Iraqi Women,Children and Elderly Iraqis;

    American Sniper

    A Poem By Darryl Mason

    "Kill one man, terrorize a thousand"
    the instructor had pointed to the sign
    on the wall at the school where I learned to kill
    Camp Pendleton, California
    it didn't have a fancy name, this school
    like 'tactical depopulation training'
    we called it what it was
    Sniper School
    three months training
    then they sent me here

    "Kill one man, terrorize a thousand"
    he smiled when he read the sign to me
    my scores were good
    he told me he was proud of me
    never heard a man say that to me before
    I see him now still tapping that sign
    to a roomful of kids who are now
    mostly dead
    or wounded

    April 7, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. kamanakapu

    Every single human male that ever set foot on this planet was and is a born coward. There simply is no way around that fact. Sure we males can lie all we want but at the nitty gritty level we ain't nothing but cowards. Show me a man who believes he is brave and I will show you a male with an unfair, unjust, unequal, unhealthy, or unnatural advantage. We gotta have an advantage, my brothers! a gun! a gang! an army! a bomb! Where is the proof? Its all around us. Everywhere you look you see the human male strutting around with his weapons as if he were born brave. Yet a little twenty pound dog will chase an unarmed 6'6", 250# man up a tree and pin him there all day long, scared to death, and trying to make friends with that dog.

    April 11, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
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