Clinton expresses shock, regret at Afghan massacre

UNITED NATIONS Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:48pm EDT

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks following a Security Council meeting regarding the current situation in the Middle East at UN Headquarters in New York March 12, 2012. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks following a Security Council meeting regarding the current situation in the Middle East at UN Headquarters in New York March 12, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday expressed shock and regret at the "inexplicable" massacre of 16 Afghan villagers by a U.S. soldier, which has prompted calls for an immediate American exit from the decade-long war in Afghanistan.

"I was shocked and saddened by the killings of innocent Afghan villagers," Clinton said. "This is not who we are and the United States is committed to seeing that those responsible are held accountable."

Clinton acknowledged that it had been a "difficult and complex few weeks" in Afghanistan for the United States.

"This terrible incident does not change our steadfast dedication to protecting the Afghan people and to doing everything we can to help build a strong and stable Afghanistan," she said at the United Nations.

"We recognize that an incident like this is inexplicable and will certainly cause many questions to be asked."

The shooting spree in the southern province of Kandahar on Sunday, which killed mostly women and children, came just weeks after copies of the Muslim holy book, the Koran, were burned at a NATO base, setting off violent reprisals by outraged Afghans.

Sunday's massacre will almost certainly complicate talks between Kabul and Washington over allowing American advisers and special forces to stay in Afghanistan after foreign combat troops pull out at the end of 2014.

(Additional reporting by Louis Charbonneau and Emily Flitter; Editing by Christopher Wilson)

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Comments (3)
ArthurShuey wrote:
Right, Secretary of State Clinton, because had the massacre been committed by those snipers you made up to make yourself appear dramatically heroic during your presidential campaign rather than United States military personnel driven to that point by a decade of Taliban ambushes, booby traps, suicide bombings, tortures, kidnapping and threats, those Afghan civilians would be alive and well today.
Right, Secretary of State Clinton. Side against the government you are pledged to serve again and again until it looks so utterly valueless that the people allow you to lead it.

Mar 12, 2012 2:06pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
oneof7billion wrote:
So what would you have her say? Something like “Well, what do expect? After a decade of fighting the Taliban, somebody is bound to crack and shoot a bunch of women and children.”?

An apology is the only reasonable statement to make. Not that it will do any good.

Mar 12, 2012 4:44pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
GMavros wrote:
Theatrics, theatrics, theatrics…
the Clintons ???? what a disaster. Under the Clinton Administration the gap between the wealthy and the poor increased by 27%, the highest ever.
Now you know where she is really coming from.
She and her likes, both Democrats and Republicans, have no compassion for humanity, $ Green Blood $ runs in their veins. They are not human.

Mar 12, 2012 12:36am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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