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By Associated Press – Nov. 5, 2012|
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. (AP) — The caped figure on the surveillance video came running out of the darkness to the edge of a remote Army outpost in southern Afghanistan. Blood was smeared on his face, prosecutors said, and soaked into his clothes.
Less than a mile away, 16 Afghans, including nine children, were dead, some of their bodies on fire in two villages.
As fellow soldiers stopped him at the base's gate, Staff Sgt. Robert Bales was incredulous, prosecutors said. Then, as he was taken into custody, Bales said, "I thought I was doing the right thing."
The details, from a prosecutor as well as Bales' comrades, emerged Monday as a preliminary hearing in his case opened, offering the clearest picture yet of one of the worst atrocities of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
The March 11 attack prompted the U.S. to halt combat operations for days in the face of protests, and it was a month before military investigators could reach the crime scenes. Read More