US soldier upset by comrade’s injury before Afghan rampage


The US soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers was upset by a serious injury sustained by an army comrade the day before the massacre, but held no animosity toward Muslims, his lawyer has said.
The 38-year-old army sergeant, being held in Kuwait, was also unhappy about being sent to Afghanistan, having earlier been told he would not be redeployed after three tours in Iraq, according to his Seattle-based civilian attorney. The soldier, a married father-of-two is not being named, and his family has moved to a military base south of Seattle because of security fears and concerns about possible retaliation for the attack. A decorated veteran, the suspect is alleged to have left his base in southern Kandahar province before dawn Sunday and then proceeded to kill the Afghans, many of them children, in two neighboring villages. “We have been informed that at this small base that he was at, somebody was gravely injured the day before the alleged incident, which affects all of the soldiers there,” attorney John Henry Browne said in Seattle on Thursday. He declined to give more details to reporters, but a report said a friend and fellow US soldier had his leg blown off while next to the rampage suspect. The New York Times said the suspect, a career soldier originally from the Midwest, had been drinking at the time of the shootings, was stressed over his fourth deployment and had been experiencing tensions with his wife. “When it all comes out, it will be a combination of stress, alcohol and domestic issues — he just snapped,” an unnamed official told the Times.