The Obama administration paid $50,000 in compensation to the families of each Afghan killed and $11,000 for each person wounded in the horrific shooting spree allegedly committed by a U.S. soldier in southern Afghanistan.
The sum is much larger than the usual payments made by the U.S. to families of civilian casualties killed by the military in Afghanistan.
Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales is accused of sneaking off his base on March 11, sneaking into houses in two nearby villages and opening fire on families as they slept.
U.S. investigators believe the gunman returned to his base before later slipping away again to kill more civilians, American officials have said. Bales has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and other crimes and could face the death penalty if convicted.
The families of the dead, who received the money Saturday at the governor’s office, were told that the money came from U.S. President Barack Obama, said Kandahar provincial council member Agha Lalai. He and community elder Jan Agha confirmed the payout amounts.
Survivors had previously received smaller compensation paymentsfrom Afghan officials, $2,000 for each death and $1,000 for each person wounded.
Families of the dead declined to comment on any payments by U.S. officials on Sunday, but some said previously that they were more concerned about seeing the perpetrator punished than money.
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