US vows full accountability in Afghan shooting (Lead, Changing dateline)

March 11th, 2012 - 11:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, March 11 (IANS) Anyone found responsible for the killing of over a dozen civilians in Afghanistan would be punished, said General John Allen, commander of the US and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

According to the Afghan defence ministry, 15 civilians were killed and nine others injured in a shooting spree by NATO-led troops in Kandahar province’s Zangabad village Sunday morning.

“I was shocked and saddened to hear of the shooting incident today in Kandahar province. I offer my profound regret and deepest condolences to the victims and their families,” Xinhua quoted Allen as saying in a statement.

“I am absolutely dedicated to making sure that anyone who is found to have committed wrong-doing is held fully accountable,” he said.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has detained a US service member regarding the incident, the ISAF said in a statement released in Kabul.

Allen pledged to conduct a “rapid and thorough investigation” into the tragedy and “maintain custody of the U.S. service member alleged to have perpetrated this attack.”

“We will cooperate fully with local Afghan authorities as we ascertain all the facts,” he said.

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