Death toll in Afghanistan massacre now 17

Death toll in Afghanistan massacre now 17

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

A villager points to a spot where a family was allegedly shot in their residence by a rogue US soldier in Alkozai village of Panjwayi district, Kandahar province on March 11, 2012. An AFP reporter counted 16 bodies -- including women and children -- in three Afghan houses after a rogue US soldier walked out of his base and began shooting civilians early Sunday. NATO's International Security Assistance Force said it had arrested a soldier "in connection to an incident that resulted in Afghan casualties in Kandahar province", without giving a figure for the dead or wounded. AFP PHOTO/ MAMOON DURRANI (Photo credit should read Mamoon Durrani/AFP/Getty Images)

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by Associated Press and KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on March 22, 2012 at 9:37 AM

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. defense officials say the death toll in the massacre of Afghan villagers is now 17.

Defense officials said Thursday that investigators have increased the number of dead from the widely reported 16, but they were unable to immediately explain the change. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation into the shootings is continuing.

Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales from Joint Base Lewis-McChord allegedly gunned down Afghans on March 11 as they slept in their homes in two southern villages. He is expected to be charged Friday in the deaths and is in custody in a military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

There was initial confusion about the number of dead in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, but Afghan and U.S. officials had said 16 for the past week.

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