The U.S. government has paid $50,000 per victim to the families of 16 Afghan villagers killed in the nighttime shooting spree for which Staff Sgt. Robert Bales faces charges, The Los Angeles Times reports. (The number 16 comes from Afghan officials' own count. Bales is being tried on 17 counts of murders, but has not yet explained the discrepancy.) The six wounded were offered $11,000 each. They were each presented with the money on Saturday at the governor's office, according to a provincial council member in Kandahar, the AP reports, and told that "the money comes from President Obama." The Afghan government also offered compensation: $2,000 per death and $1,000 per wounded. The LA Times notes the "sum is unusually large for deaths and injuries attributed to Western troops -- a reflection, U.S. officials said, of the scope and significance of the case."
Meanwhile, the war still rages on. A bomb detonated in the Kandahar province one day after NATO forces had inspected the region on foot. It killed nine Afghans -- a solider, seven police and a translator -- and one international service member.
Pictured: On March 11, villagers stand next to blood stains and charred remains inside a home where witnesses say Afghans were killed by a U.S. soldier [AP Photo].
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