Afghan massacre testimony is being provided by small boys and farmers who witnessed the March Afghani massacre of 16 civilians, including nine children. US Soldier Staff Sergeant Robert Bales stands accused of the atrocity and if the Afghan massacre testimony finds him guilty he could face the death penalty by the military court martial.
To accommodate for time differences, the Afghan massacre testimony began late Friday night and through this morning via a live video feed from Kandahar, Afghanistan. Robert Bales himself is being kept at a military base outside Seattle, where he silently watched the video screens with no discernible reaction.
All of the Afghan massacre testimony was provided through interpreters. A small boy of perhaps age 13 or 14 named Sadiquallah testified about being woken by a neighbor only to hide in a storage room and be struck by a bullet. Fortunately, it only grazed his head.
“I was hiding behind the curtains. A bullet hit me,” Sadiquallah said.
According to the Washington Post, Sadiquallah’s older brother, Quadratullah, tried to gather with other children elsewhere in the same house. “We were all in one room, and then he came to that room. … All the children were running,” Quadratullah said. When the shooter discovered them, all the children scrambled away, yelling, “We are children! We are children!” Despite this, the gunman did not hesitate. “And he shot one of the kids.”
Haji Mohammed Naim is a farmer who witnessed the attacks in the village of Alkozai. He awoke with a start to the sound of gunfire. Then came knocks on his door from terrified neighbors fleeing the gunman.
“I didn’t recognize him. He was an American. I just saw the light on his head,” Naim testified. Apparently the attacker was only wearing a t-shirt, combat pants, a helmet with a headlamp, night vision goggles and a makeshift cape made from a decorative window or door covering.
“I was standing here, and he was standing there,” Naim said, waving at a water bottle on the table close to him. “And he just started shooting me.”
“Did he say anything before he shot you?” the prosecution team asked.
“I don’t remember, but my son told me that he … heard me talking with him, [saying] ‘What are you doing? What are you doing?’” Naim said. “He didn’t say anything to me. When he came, he stood right here, and he just started shooting at me.”
Naim doesn’t remember too much from there except for this: “He shot the children.”
Robert Bales is accused by of making two trips during that night. The Afghan massacre testimony was necessary because of the difficulty procuring evidence in the aftermath of the attacks.
In between Bale’s two attacks, he reportedly woke a fellow soldier, confessed to his actions but then claimed he was headed out to kill more. But unfortunately the soldier didn’t believe Bales’ wild story, and went back to sleep.
Khamal Adin was not involved in the incident directly but he was called the next morning to the home of his cousin, Haji Mohammed Wazir. 11 people, including most of Wazir’s family, were dead.
The Los Angeles Times provides further detail:
“He described a grisly scene of bodies, many of them naked, burned in a pile; of women and children who had been shot directly in the head; of Nabiyah, less than 2, who it appeared was not shot. ‘It seems like she was just brought alive from her bed and put on fire,’ Adin testified. Two of the children, 4-year-old Fareeda, and 3-year-old Palwasha, had boot marks on their faces. ‘It appears she was kicked, because I saw some shoe mark on her face,’ Adin said of Fareeda. The other child, he said, had such marks on both her head and the rest of her body.”
The military personnel thanked him and Adin finished his Aghan massacre testimony with this simple appeal: “My request is to get justice.”