Taliban vow revenge for Afghan rampage

March 12, 2012 at 1:44 PM
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KABUL, Afghanistan, March 12 (UPI) -- The Taliban vowed revenge for an attack on civilians allegedly carried out by a U.S. soldier operating in southern Afghanistan.

"The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, while sympathizing with the victims of this savage act as part of its Islamic and human obligation, gives assurance to their heirs that it shall take revenge from the invaders and the savage murderers for every single martyr with the help of Allah and they shall receive punishment for their barbaric actions," the Islamist group said in a statement.

U.S. military officials said that a rogue soldier may have killed more than a dozen Afghan civilians in southern Afghanistan.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said a suspect was in custody and assured Afghan President Hamid Karzai the Pentagon would "spare no effort" in holding responsible parties accountable.

"This tragic incident does not reflect the commitment of the U.S. military to protect the Afghan people and help build a strong and stable Afghanistan," he said in a statement.

The Taliban referred to the weekend rampage as an act carried out by "sick-minded American savages."

The incident came less than a month after the alleged mishandling of the Koran on a U.S. military base in Afghanistan stoked widespread anti-American sentiment in the country.

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