(AP Photo/Allauddin Khan )
Reporting from Washington — Responding to reports that a U.S. serviceman killed 16 Afghan civilians in a shooting rampage in a village near Kandahar, President Obama called Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Sunday to express his “shock and sadness.”
Obama said in a statement that he was “deeply saddened by the reported killing and wounding of Afghan civilians.”
“I offer my condolences to the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives, and to the people of Afghanistan, who have endured too much violence and suffering,” Obama said in the statement. “This incident is tragic and shocking, and does not represent the exceptional character of our military and the respect that the United States has for the people of Afghanistan.”
In his call to Karzai, Obama extended his condolences and “made clear his administration’s commitment to establish the facts as quickly as possible and to hold fully accountable anyone responsible,” according to a White House summary of the call.
The soldier, believed to have suffered a mental breakdown, is in custody at his base.
“The president reaffirmed our deep respect for the Afghan people and the bonds between our two countries,” the summary said.
Original source: Obama 'deeply saddened' by killing of Afghan civilians