A bomb explosion in Afghanistan’s southern province of Kandahar killed eight people on Saturday, including a U.S. soldier.
CNN cited local authorities saying the bomb exploded in the village of Kuhak in Arghandab district, even as Afghani and NATO security officers were trying to defuse it. The district is reportedly a Taliban stronghold and it borders the Panjwai district, where an army staff sergeant recently shot and killed 17 Afghani civilians.
Local authorities report that six Afghani police officers, a translator and a U.S. soldier were killed in the incident, adding that the bomb was probably remotely detonated.
CNN also reports that yesterday, March 24, it received an email from the Taliban vowing to take “strong revenge” for the March 11 shootings in the Panjwai district.
According to CNN: “Staff Sgt. Robert Bales has been charged with 17 counts of murder, six counts of attempted murder and two counts of assault in the attack.”
Reports also indicate that the U.S. military has paid close to $900,000 to the families of people who were killed or injured in the March 11 shootings.
Haji Agha Lalai, a tribal chief and a member of the Kandhar Provincial Council, told AFP: “The elders called me and said they were paid $50,000 per person for the dead and $11,000 for the injured per person.”
There appear to be some discrepancies in the actual compensation amount, but CNN reports a U.S. official has confirmed that the payment was made on Saturday.
CNN quoted the official saying: “I can’t comment on the figure but I can say that it reflects the devastating nature of the incident.”
Afghani local authorities also told CNN that: “The American official who handed over the money to the families said it was not compensation but the U.S. government offering to help the victims and their families.”
In Afghanistan, the payment of “blood money” can take the place of a trial and punishment for a killer.
There have been demands to have the accused, Staff Sergeant Bales, face a trial in Afghanistan, but U.S. authorities have indicated he will be tried in the United States.