Girl: She hid behind dad during Afghan massacre

Associated Press Modified: November 11, 2012 at 1:46 am •  Published: November 11, 2012
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The Afghan witnesses recounted the villagers who lived in the attacked compounds and listed the names of those killed, to provide a record of the lives lost. The bodies were buried quickly under Islamic custom, and no forensic evidence was available to prove the number of victims.

Sadiquallah, a slight boy of about 13 or 14 whose head rose just above his chair at the witness table, described being awakened by a neighbor screaming that an American had "killed our men."

He said he and another boy, Zardana's brother, ran to hide in a storage room and ducked behind a curtain. It provided no protection from the bullet that grazed his head and fractured his skull. Sadiquallah said the shooter had a gun and a light, but he could not identify the man.

The other child was hit in the thigh and also survived. That boy, Rafiullah, testified Saturday that an American had attacked them and put a gun in his sister's mouth.

His father, Samiullah, was away when the shootings occurred, and testified that by the time he returned the next morning, his two wounded children had been driven to a base for treatment. He found his mother among the four corpses at the compound.

"I just saw her, I cried, and I could not look on her face," he said.

Prosecutors said that in between his attacks, Bales woke a fellow soldier, reported what he'd done and said he was headed out to kill more. The soldier testified that he didn't believe what Bales said, and went back to sleep.

During cross-examination of several witnesses Saturday, Bales' attorney, John Henry Browne, sought to elicit testimony about whether there might have been more than one shooter.

One Army Criminal Investigations Command special agent testified that several months after the massacre, she took a statement from one woman whose husband was killed. The woman reported that there were two soldiers in her room — one took her husband out of the room and shot him, and the other held her back when she tried to follow.

But other eyewitnesses reported that there was just one shooter, and several soldiers have testified that Bales returned to his base at Camp Belambay, just before dawn, alone and covered in blood.

A video taken from a surveillance blimp also captured a sole figure returning to the base.

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Johnson can be reached at https://twitter.com/GeneAPseattle