13 Mar 2012

Militants attack Karzai group after massacre by US soldier

10:13 pm on 13 March 2012

Militants in Afghanistan have launched an attack on a government delegation visiting the site where a US soldier killed 16 civilians.

The Taliban in Afghanistan has threatened to behead American troops in revenge for the massacre.

Two of Afghan President Hamid Karzai's brothers and security officials were in the delegation in Panjwai in Kandahar province, the BBC reports. They were safe and heading back to Kandahar.

Hundreds of students chanting "Death to America" and proclaiming holy war have staged Afghanistan's first protest against the massacre, AFP reports.

The demonstration in the eastern city of Jalalabad came after the United States embassy in Kabul warned its citizens to be on their guard.

About 400 university students in Jalalabad set fire to an effigy of US President Barack Obama, blocking the main highway to Kabul. The protesters dispersed peacefully after about two hours.

The American staff sergeant apparently left his base in the southern province of Kandahar in the early hours of Sunday, walked into several houses and shot and killed 16 people, mostly women and children.

Reports suggest he might have been drunk, or had had a nervous breakdown. He turned himself in to the military authorities after returning to base.