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If soldier killed Afghan civilians in rampage, did he act alone?

Shots reportedly heard long after the suspect's return to an Afghanistan base are among the questions raised at a hearing for U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales.

November 14, 2012|By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times

A lot of the evidence suggests otherwise, Scanlan said, pointing to an agent from the Army's Criminal Investigations Command who said that Masuma Dawood, whose husband was shot, told her that two soldiers had killed her husband.

Army officials said Dawood did not testify because of "cultural differences," and the reluctance of Afghan families to allow a woman to testify in an American courtroom, even by remote video from Afghanistan. But sources in Afghanistan have told the Los Angeles Times that Dawood was, in fact, willing to testify.

Scanlan said the timeline laid out by prosecutors also raises questions, beginning with the Afghan guard who testified that he checked his watch, and was certain that the U.S. soldier he saw — returning from the initial killings in Alkozai, prosecutors allege — had returned to Camp Belambay at 1:30 a.m.

The shots heard from the direction of Alkozai didn't stop till 1:50 a.m., the defense attorney said.

"I don't know what that means," Scanlan said. "But one thing it means is, if you believe what the government is telling you, that Sgt. Bales is the one who came back through that wire at 1:30, then somebody else was firing for another 20 minutes."

kim.murphy@latimes.com

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